THREAT REMOVAL

Remove GootKit Trojan Horse

GootKit Trojan imageWhat is GootKit? How to remove GootKit Trojan from your PC or Mac?

The GootKit Trojan is a dangerous malware threat which is designed mainly 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 GootKit 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 GootKit Trojan can download other threats, launch multiple dangerous modules and install a cryptocurrency miner which will run a sequence of performance-demanding tasks.

Threat Summary

NameGootKit Trojan
TypeMalware, Trojan, Miner
Short DescriptionA dangerous malware which can launch a miner and start a Trojan module.
SymptomsThe victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.
Distribution MethodCommon distribution tactics and direct web attacks.
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss GootKit Trojan.

GootKit Trojan – Update October 2019

A new security reports gives further details over the features of the last few iterations of the GootKit Trojan. They have the ability to launch many dangerous components that can have a profound effect upon the computers. The specialists note that the ability to cause self-injection into running processes which can be both operating system related or installed by the users. This allows the virus to place itself in the virtual protected memory. This means that by doing so it will protect itself from security systems and can easily bypass or even remove them. What’s important about this is that these methods work against both anti-virus programs, but also firewalls, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. They are frequently used for performing advanced analysis of the malware. By providing this functionality active samples can be very hard to detect. The respective module works by searching for specific strings in the hardware report about the user by looking for parts that are related to the typical configuration options of popular hypervisors: VMWare, Xen and Parallels in particular.

The same checks are performed in the Windows Registry as well. When this engine has completed running the local Trojan client will be run. It will contact the remote server and setup a persistent connection allowing the criminals to take over control of the machine.

GootKit Trojan – Update September 2019

The Gootkit Trojan has been found to toarget a lot of networks located across Europe, including banks found in France, Switzerland and Austria. What’s particularly dangerous is that it can also be set against cryptocurrency services. However it has been found that two databases that are used by the hacking collective to have leaked. A security analysis of their structure and a content extraction has revealed further information about the stored information. The experts reveal that the criminal collective behind the threat is actively pulling data from three botnets totaling about 38,563 compromised hosts.

One of the databases has been found to contain a lot of sensitive information about the victim users including their bank card data. The sum of the harvested appears is expected to number at least 15,000 payment cards. Alongside the information about the assets the databases also includes a lot of details about the infected machines, including login credentials. Among the harvested information there is also a lot of strings that can be used to login onto online services. Among them there were found username and password combinations for the following:

  • Polish Ski shops
  • Envato Marketplaces
  • Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  • Bulgarian government agencies

The Gootkit Trojan has also been found to hijack web browsers data including cookies, history, bookmarks and etc. What’s particularly dangerous about is that it can also screenshot the users interaction and launch all kinds of other modules. What we know is that the engine will extract a detailed list of system data including the following:

  • Internal Network IP Address
  • External Network IP Address
  • Hostname
  • Domain Name
  • Processor Information
  • Memory Details
  • Installed Security Applications and Services
  • Web Browser Data
  • ISP Information
  • Operating System Information

GootKit Trojan – How Did I Get It

The GootKit Trojan is a dangerous banking malware which is being delivered using a variety of tactics. One of the popular ways is to use large-scale botnet campaigns and phishing tactics that incorporate its code as part of the intended virus infection. One of the main ones are the following:

  • Phishing Tactics — The hackers can attempt to scam the victims into creating bulk email messages and specially crafted websites. They are all hosted on similar sounding domain names attempting to manipulate the recipients into interacting with the shown contents. In many cases it is faked or stolen from the original sources, the headers of the messages can also be masked. A dangerous tactics is the inclusion of self-signed security certificates.
  • Malicious Payloads — The hackers can embed the necessary infection code in various kind of files. They can be either macro-infected documents or bundle installers. This covers a large part of the attack campaigns as this can include all popular file formats: presentations, databases, spreadsheets and text file. The other alternative which is covered by the hackers include the creation of malware setup files of popular applications. They can include the following: system utilities, creativity suites, office and productivity suites and etc.
  • Malware Infections — Previous malware can be used to make way for the GootKit Trojan samples. This can also be done by using automated toolkits that can enumerate networks for weaknesses. Any active exploits can lead to the GootKit Trojan delivery.
Related:
MailChimp email service has been frequently abused to deliver spam messages carrying malware infections such as the GootKit banking malware.
MailChimp Abused to Deliver GootKit Banking Malware for 4 Months

GootKit Trojan – What Does It Do

As soon as the GootKit Trojan has infected a given host it will immediately start to execute its built-in sequence. The security analysis that has been made on the collected samples shows that the main infection engine will “unpack” itself and all associated modules. One of the default options is the installation as a persistent threat. In most cases this means that the virus engine will be started every time the computer is powered on. In some cases it can also disable access to the recovery boot options which makes recovery even more difficult.

The next module which is started is the anti-analysis function which will scan the memory and hard disk contents looking for active security software that can potentially block or remove the GootKit Trojan. All found apps will be bypassed or entirely deleted from the system. Examples of such include virtual machine hosts, anti-virus software, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and etc. As this is related to advanced system interaction the following actions can be caused:

  • Process Hookup — The GotKit Trojan can hookup to existing (running) processes that include both system and third-party ones. A consequence of this action will be that the virus will be able to hijack the user interaction, read the user input and output and monitor the activity of the applications.
  • Data Gathering — One of the main dangers associated with having the GootKit Trojan active on a given system is its ability to harvest information found in the memory and the files that can expose the identity of the victims or generate a report of the installed hardware parts.
  • System Changes — As a result of the GootKit Trojan installation its engine can be configured into editing out system configuration files, editing the user preferences or making edits to the Windows Registry values. This can result in serious issues when interacting with the computer, performance problems, loss of data and even unexpected errors.

One of the newer releases of the GootKit Trojan adds in a further module that will bypass Windows Defender by using a complex technique. First it will check if the service is running and if this checks as positive a Registry entries will be added that is related to a weakness in the system. It allows the whitelisting of services at boot-up. Using a malware dropper that has been specially made for this purpose the Windows Defender service will be shut down.

The GootKit Trojan is classified primarily as a banking Trojan which means that it will constantly monitor the user interactions looking for any user input in payment pages, online banking services and etc. It will automatically read this information and change it so that the funds will be transferred to a hacker-controlled bank account or cryptocurrency wallet. Additionally as a generic Trojan it will connect the infected host to a hacker-controlled server allowing the hackers to take over control of the host, steal their data and etc.

How to Remove GootKit Trojan

In order to fully remove GootKit 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 GootKit 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 GootKit files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.

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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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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove GootKit Trojan from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GootKit Trojan

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall GootKit 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GootKit Trojan on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GootKit 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.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for GootKit Trojan with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of GootKit Trojan from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall GootKit Trojan and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


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 GootKit Trojan:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


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 GootKit 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 GootKit 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 GootKit 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

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 GootKit 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:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GootKit 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase GootKit 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall GootKit 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GootKit 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the GootKit Trojan will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate GootKit 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.


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