What Is PsMiner Miner – Remove It

What Is PsMiner Miner – Remove It

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The PsMiner threat is a dangerous cryptocurrency miner that follows the well-known tactic of using a widely known general-purpose code which is modified to follow a dangerous behavior pattern. In this particular case this is XMRig which is the most popular tool used to mine the Monero currency.

This particular threat is distributed using several popular vulnerabilities which target mainly servers and services. The targeted attack campaigns appear to target primarily such machines in order to cause as much damage as possible. In this particular case the following weaknesses are being used:

  • CVE-2015-1427 — The Groovy scripting engine in Elasticsearch before 1.3.8 and 1.4.x before 1.4.3 allows remote attackers to bypass the sandbox protection mechanism and execute arbitrary shell commands via a crafted script.
  • CVE-2018-1273 — Spring Data Commons, versions prior to 1.13 to 1.13.10, 2.0 to 2.0.5, and older unsupported versions, contain a property binder vulnerability caused by improper neutralization of special elements. An unauthenticated remote malicious user (or attacker) can supply specially crafted request parameters against Spring Data REST backed HTTP resources or using Spring Data’s projection-based request payload binding hat can lead to a remote code execution attack.
  • CVE-2014-3120 — The default configuration in Elasticsearch before 1.2 enables dynamic scripting, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary MVEL expressions and Java code via the source parameter to _search. NOTE: this only violates the vendor’s intended security policy if the user does not run Elasticsearch in its own independent virtual machine.
  • CVE-2017-10271 — Vulnerability in the Oracle WebLogic Server component of Oracle Fusion Middleware (subcomponent: WLS Security). Supported versions that are affected are,, and Easily exploitable vulnerability allows unauthenticated attacker with network access via T3 to compromise Oracle WebLogic Server. Successful attacks of this vulnerability can result in takeover of Oracle WebLogic Server.

As soon as the PsMiner miner infection is made it will launch the built-in which will take advantage of the system’s resources in order to compute complex algorithms and mathematical tasks. It will place a heavy toll on the performance including such components such as the CPU, memory, GPU and hard disk space. When one of them is reported to the machines it will reward credit to the hacker operators.

Rudimentary brute force attacks can also be done against several popular system services. Other possible modifications to its behavior can lead to the execution of various tasks:

  • Boot Changes — The PsMiner can modify the boot options in order to automatically start itself when the computer is powered on. It can also disable access to the recovery boot options which can render most manual user removal guides non-working.
  • Security Programs Removal — The PsMiner infection engine can detect if there are any running security programs that can interfere with the process. Possible applications include the following: anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and etc.
  • Additional Malware Delivery — It can lead to the installation of other threats to the compromised hosts such as ransomware, Trojans and hijackers.

One of the most dangerous consequences of having such an infection active on a given computer is that it is able to harvest sensitive information about both the machines and the users themselves. This is used to create an unique ID that is assigned to each compromised host. In addition personal information can be used to lead to various crimes including identity theft and financial abuse. Active PsMiner infections should be removed as soon as possible following infections in order to reduce the risk of any follow-up actions and malware infections.

Threat Summary

Short DescriptionThe PsMiner is a cryptocurrency miner.
SymptomsThe victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.
Distribution MethodPhishing Messages, Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by PsMiner


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss PsMiner.

PsMiner Miner – Distribution Methods

The PsMiner is a malicious application that has been spotted on several Internet sites. It can be distributed using a variety of methods and under different file names and description variations.

In many cases the hackers can craft email messages that are sent in a SPAM-like manner and impersonate well known companies. These messages can use stolen content and design layout thereby deceiving the recipients into thinking that they have received an legitimate notification. The users might be tricked into interacting with the built-in content or attached files.

The other common tactic is to create hacker-made web sites that pose as legitimate software landing pages, download portals or other frequently accessed sites. The infections can happen also through interaction with any elements such as pop-ups, banners and ads.

This particular threat can be installed also by payload carriersof which there are two main types:

  • Malicious Documents — The hackers can embed the virus installation code into macros which are then made part of documents across all popular file formats: presentations, databases, spreadsheets and text files. Whenever they are opened by the victims a prompt will be spawned asking them to enable the built-in content. If this is done the PsMiner will be installed on the local machine.
  • Bundle Installers — This is the other popular mechanism often used by hackers. Installers of commonly used applications by end users can be modified by the criminals in order to lead to the virus infection. This is done by taking the legitimate files from their official sources and modifying them to include the necessary code.

To further spread the dangerous PsMiner files the hackers will distribute them on file-sharing sites as well. The most popular utility is BitTorrent which uses various trackers that are used to distribute both pirate and legitimate data.

Larger attacks can be spread via browser hijackers — they are dangerous plugins made compatible with the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded by the hackers to the relevant web site repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials. The accompanying description will promise new features addition and performance optimizations which entices the visitors into installing them. As soon as this is done the malware file will be downloaded and run on the target computers.

PsMiner Miner – Detailed Description

The PsMiner is a generic file name which has been reported to contain various forms of malware. The most common malware form that this file carries is the installation of a cryptocurrency miner. The process will appear in the task manager utilizing many of the important hardware of the computer in order to execute complex mathematical tasks: CPU, Memory, GPU and hard disk space. A connection is made to a specific server which will generate these tasks and they will be downloaded automatically by the engine. Whenever one of them is completed another will be retrieved and started in its place. At the same time the hackers will be rewarded with a digital transfer of cryptocurrency that will be automatically placed in their wallets.

Other popular types of malware that the PsMiner can host include the following:

  • Ransomware — They are among the most dangerous virus types. Active ransomware infections will use a strong cipher that will target process user data according to a built-in list of target file type extensions. Usually common files are targeted such as images, archives, databases, music, videos and etc. Specific extensions are added to the affected files and ransomware notes and images can be crafted in order to blackmail the victims into paying the criminals a decryption fee.
  • Trojans — This is a dangerous type of viruses that will establish a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. It enables the criminals to spy on the victims in real-time, hijack their information and deploy additional threats.
  • Adware — Interacting with such files can lead to a dangerous infection with adware. This is usually done by retrieving browser hijackers or changing important settings in the operating system.
  • Generic Malware Commands — They can be caused by executing certain common behavior patterns. Many of them are programmed to do one single task or several ones as devised by a certain behavior pattern. A prime example is the manipulation of the system — many malware will disable access to the boot options and recovery menus which will make manual user recovery very difficult unless a professional-grade anti-spyware solution is used.

Many PsMiner malware files can additionally lead to Windows Registry Modifications. When they affect the operating system this can have a tremendous negative impact on the operating system — it can become completely unusable. When third-party applications are affected it will effectively stop certain functions, cause errors and may data loss.

Various other types of behavior can be exhibited depending on the ongoing attack campaign.

Remove PsMiner Miner Completely

To remove PsMiner Miner manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal tutorial written down below. In case this manual removal does not get rid of the miner malware completely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.


Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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