The Adwind Trojan is a dangerous malware threat which is designed for Microsoft Windows computers. It can be acquired from various sources, every attack campaign can focus on one specific tactic. Usually virus infections like this one are made by interacting with an infected file — this can be either a macro-infected document or a hacker-made software installer. They are often made by taking the legitimate files from their official sources and modifying them with the necessary virus code. Other data can also be affected. All kinds of other data may be used as well — this includes malicious plugins for web browsers and etc. In other cases the hackers can use a direct attacks that will look for system vulnerabilities and weaknesses. If any are found then the Adwind Trojan will be installed.
This particular threat is known for being spread using a multitude of weaknesses. It is set against both end users and servers. After the infection has been made the Adwind Trojan can download other threats, launch multiple dangerous modules and install a cryptocurrency miner which will run a sequence of performance-demanding tasks.
|Type||Malware, Trojan, Miner|
|Short Description||A dangerous malware which can launch a miner and start a Trojan module.|
|Symptoms||The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.|
|Distribution Method||Common distribution tactics and direct web attacks.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Adwind Trojan.|
Adwind Trojan — Update October 2019
A new large-scale campaign has been spotted bearing the AdWind Trojan, the available information about it shows that the criminal group behind it are focusing on the US petroleum industry. The small batch of collected samples shows that the new version of the malware is sophisticated and is specifically made to infiltrate these networks.
It appears that it is coupled with other malware which are directed against the target networks. The virus files were hosted on a web server located in Australia that appears to be hacked or be loaned under with a fake identity. It appears that the hackers have attempted to hide the fact that malware is hosted there by randomly uploading image files in ready-made sequences. This aims to bypass intrusion detection system and other automated security solutions into discovering potentially dangerous activity.
The intrusion is done by clicking on malware scripts or running certain files. To facilitate this different tactics can be used by the hackers including the following:
- Social Engineering Techniques & Phishing Messages — The hackers can use the familiar techniques of sending out fake email messages and setting up associated websites that will coerce the visitors into downloading or running files or data.
- Payload Carriers — The criminals can embed the necessary code into files of all popular types which are commonly acquired from the Internet. The most common types are documents (containing dangerous macros) and application installers of popular applications.
- Direct Attacks — Direct attacks against the potentially vulnerable networks can lead to the virus installation.
- Social Network Profiles — The criminals can create special profiles or hack already existing ones in various social networks or company portals in order to deliver the necessary payload droppers.
This particular AdWind Trojan uses a several-stage sequence in order to deliver the final virus. The captured samples appear to be part of a JAR file (Java executable file) which when run will start the sequence. The first step is to copy down the main payload to a folder that belongs to the victim user and start it from there. The JAR file will be unloaded and decrypted by the system and then start the initial engine which will hookup to existing DLL files and then take over the system.
The next logical steps are to conduct changes in the Windows Registry which aim to create new strings that are special to the virus. This is done in order to set it up as as persistent threat which means that the AdWind Trojan will be run every time the computer is started. The payload delivery mechanism can also search the memory and hard disk contents for any installed security solutions. If such are found they will be removed, this is specially done for any deployed anti-virus or firewall engines.
The final AdWind Trojan will be extracted after this stage — as it is written in Java it is cross-platform and affects Windows, Linux and Mac. It will connect to a preset hacker-controlled server and additionally enable the hackers to conduct other actions as well. Commonly this is done to take over control of the systems, hijack data and deploy other threats. Among the distinct modules functionality there are also the following:
- Webcam Photo Capturing
- Scanning for Certain User Data and Their Manipulation
- Process Scanning
- Process Hookup
- System Status Monitoring
- Executing Malware Commands including Ransomware Engines
Adwind Trojan — Update August 2019
The Adwind Trojan as a dangerous threat has been found to abuse several domain names in order to deliver the threat. When the victims visit the site a payload file will be downloaded automatically to the hosts. It is a malicious PDF extension file which is actually an obfuscated JAR file. As soon as it is clicked the virus holders will start the associated Java execute. It will start the Trojan which will connect to a hacker-controlled server which will control take over control of the victims.
The new variant uses a technique for code injection which is used when the security bypass is called. This advanced technique will make sure that existing security services and applications will not be able to discover that an infection is active: firewalls, anti-virus engines, virtual machines and etc.
Adwind Trojan – How Did I Get It
The Adwind Trojan is a malware threat which is described as a classic Remote Access Trojan (RAT) — its main goal is to allow the hackers to establish a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. This is done by deploying the threat to the intended victims. The Adwind Trojan is being spread to the intended victims by computer hackers when they have acquired the code of the malware from the developers. According to the security reports that the current wave is being released with a Malware-as-a-service (MaaS) — this means that the virus is loaned to the prospective hackers for a given fee.
The ongoing attacks are made against the utility industry among other targets and we suspect that a high-profile criminal collective is probably behind it. Several other groups are taking advantage of the virus by using it against home users and company networks.
Depending on the exact group and the chosen targets various distribution methods can be used. When viruses like the Adwind Trojan are concerned there are several main methods which are often considered:
- File Carriers — The criminals can embed the necessary macros and code of the Adwind Trojan in different data. This can include documents of all popular file types: spreadsheets, databases, text documents and presentations. As soon as they are opened a prompt will ask them to enable the built-in scripts. The quoted reason is the correct viewing of the file. As soon as this is done the Adwind Trojan will be placed.
- Application Installers — These are malicious bundle installers of popular software which are often acquired by end users. They can be of applications that are frequently downloaded and installed.
- Malware Browser Plugins — They are also called “hijackers” and are modeled to appear as safe extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are often uploaded to the relevant repositories using fake user reviews and developer credentials.
All of these files can be easily spread onto file-sharing networks which are often used to distribute both pirate and legitimate data.
Adwind Trojan – What Does It Do
The Adwind Trojan will launch a series of dangerous actions as prescribed by its operators or according to local conditions. In almost all cases the dangerous sequence will begin with a security bypass function that will look for any applications and services that can effectively block the proper virus execution: anti-virus engines, virtual machine hosts, firewalls and etc.
The Adwind Trojan variants which are designed to be run against home users and certain corporate targets will lead to data harvesting, it can be done with two main categories in mind:
- Personal Information — This can include all kinds of data which can expose the identiy of the victim users: a person’s name, address, mobile phone number, passwords and stored account credentials.
- Machine Information — The malicious engine can be used to create a profile of the infected machines by looking out for specific data. The profile takes the values of the installed hardware parts. This data is used to generate an unique ID that will be used to identify each machine.
The dangerous behavior associated with the Adwind Trojan is that it is constructed to allow a deep surveillance of the victims. The possible actions include the recording of video and sound in real-time, as well as timed screenshots of the computer activity. Using the collected information the hackers can use all of the gathered data in order to coordinate crimes such as financial abuse and identity theft.
What we know is that the attack campaigns carrying this malware are conducted in specific attack campaigns. Some of the captured samples will activate the built-in Trojan component which will establish a secure and persistent connection to a hacker-specified server. This is done in orde to allow the operators to take over control of the victim hosts at any given time. Furthermore all hijacked data in the previous steps can be transmitted to them.
How to Remove Adwind Trojan
In order to fully remove Adwind from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see Adwind or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of Adwind files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Adwind Trojan from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Adwind Trojan on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Adwind Trojan in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Adwind Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Adwind Trojan from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Adwind Trojan from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Adwind Trojan from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable Adwind Trojan Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove Adwind Trojan from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Adwind Trojan
Step 2: Uninstall Adwind Trojan and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Adwind Trojan on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Adwind Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Adwind Trojan from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Adwind Trojan and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Adwind Trojan via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Adwind Trojan files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Adwind Trojan, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Adwind Trojan from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Adwind Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Adwind Trojan from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Adwind Trojan from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Adwind Trojan will be removed.
Eliminate Adwind Trojan from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by Adwind Trojan from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".