The BondUpdater Trojan is a dangerous weapon used against high-profile targets utilizing an unique infection mechanism. It is believed that the criminals behind it are highly experienced and are connected to a state-sponsored actor. Our article gives an overview of its behavior according to the collected samples and available reports, also it may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The BondUpdater Trojan is a computer virus that is designed to silently infiltrate computer systems.|
|Symptoms||The victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss BondUpdater Trojan.|
BondUpdater Trojan – Distribution Methods
A new Trojan called BondUpdater has been identified to be spread by a hacking collective called OilRig. This group is believed to have ties to Iran is also known under various other names: Cobalt Gypsy, Crambus, Helix Kitten or PT34 became famous with its large-scale attacks against high-profile targets. It is reported that the hackers may be a state-sponsored group that is allied with the Iranian intelligence agency.
The BondUpdater Trojan is primarily distributed using SPAM email messages that appear as being sent by a legitimate sender. The hackers will spoof the credentials, layout and design elements in order to coerce the users into interacting with the dangerous contents. The targets are reported to be a “high-ranking office” located in a country in the Middle East. We have information about a campaign that makes use of macro-infected documents. The criminal collective embeds the malicious code into documents of all popular types: presentations, rich text documents, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened a prompt will appear asking the users to enable the built-in macros. If this is done the infection follow.
The analysis shows that the scripts will download and execute a PowerShell based payload dropper.
The fact that the hackers rely on a social engineering technique gives them the ability to use other related techniques in future or supplementary campaigns. Examples include the following:
- Fake Download Sites — The email messages can redirect to a counterfeit download that may appear as a legitimate vendor site or a famous Internet portals.
- Script Redirects — Various web elements can redirect the users to the download pages from where the BondUpdater Trojan can be acquired. Examples include banners, pop-ups, in-line links and ads.
BondUpdater Trojan – Detailed Description
As soon as the PowerShell dropper is started it will download the other modules necessary to execute the infection. It has been found to run for no more than 10 minutes, afterwards it will pause before running once again if required.
The captured samples have been found to download the main Trojan executable which will set up a secure connection to the hacker-controlled server. The network analysis shows this malware instance uses a very flexible approach to controlling the infected hosts. Among its features are the following characteristics:
- Two DNS Tunneling Variations — The BondUpdater Trojan has been found to contain two variations of code that uses the DNS tunneling protocol. The first one relies on DNS A records while the second one uses DNS TXT records.
- Custom Action Types — Depending on the specific victims conditions several different behavior patterns will be started.
- Additional Commands Arsenal — The security analysts state that this Trojan is particularly useful when infecting high-profile targets.
The analysis reveals that there is an interesting mechanism that is unique to this Trojan family — the command interpreter will check the file name of the TXT instruction files — a “1” value will instruct the engine to download file while “0” will run it. The fact that the communications can happen via the text files shows that it is unlikely that a signature-based analysis or automated security defenses can detect infections.
We presume that once the criminal controllers take over control of the infected systems they will initiate a series of hacker tactics. Usually one of the first modules that are launched is the data extraction one. It will automatically search the system for any strings that can expose the victim’s identity — their names, address, location, interests, phone number and any stored account credentials. The collected information can then be used for crimes such as financial abuse and identity theft. Other information that can harvested during this process includes one that may be used for campaign metrics — a report on the installed hardware components, user settings and operating system conditions.
It is very possible that the BondUpdater Trojan will also install itself as a persistent threat. This means that it will be set to automatically start once the computers are powered on. A related modification is the fact that such infections usually disable user-installed applications and system services. Another side effect is the inability to boot into the recovery boot menu.
Windows Registry modifications are also expected. The Trojan engine can create values for itself or modify already existing ones. If string belonging to the operating system are modified then the overall performance may drop. Changes to individual applications can disable certain functions.
Remove BondUpdater Trojan Trojan
If your computer system got infected with the BondUpdater Trojan Trojan, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this Trojan as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the Trojan and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
Note! Your computer system may be affected by BondUpdater Trojan and other threats.
Scan Your PC with SpyHunter
SpyHunter is a powerful malware removal tool designed to help users with in-depth system security analysis, detection and removal of BondUpdater Trojan.
To remove BondUpdater Trojan follow these steps:
Use SpyHunter to scan for malware and unwanted programs
- Guide 1: How to Remove BondUpdater Trojan from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of BondUpdater Trojan on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove BondUpdater Trojan in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase BondUpdater Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall BondUpdater Trojan from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove BondUpdater Trojan from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate BondUpdater Trojan from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable BondUpdater Trojan Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the BondUpdater Trojan Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this BondUpdater Trojan how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on BondUpdater Trojan?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the BondUpdater Trojan threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates
How to Remove BondUpdater Trojan from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove BondUpdater Trojan
Step 2: Uninstall BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Step 4: Scan for BondUpdater Trojan with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.
Video Removal Guide for BondUpdater Trojan (Windows).
Get rid of BondUpdater Trojan from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall BondUpdater 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:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3.In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to BondUpdater Trojan:
4.Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5.In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to BondUpdater Trojan. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference.
Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to BondUpdater Trojan. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- 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 BondUpdater 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:
1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as BondUpdater Trojan. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
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 BondUpdater Trojan files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as BondUpdater 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.
Video Removal Guide for BondUpdater Trojan (Mac)
Remove BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater Trojan will be removed.
Eliminate BondUpdater 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 BondUpdater 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".
BondUpdater Trojan FAQ
What is BondUpdater Trojan?
The BondUpdater Trojan threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What are the symptoms of BondUpdater Trojan?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.
What types of Unwanted Programs are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to do if I have a "virus" like BondUpdater Trojan?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from BondUpdater Trojan?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.