The Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff Trojan.|
Gustuff Trojan — Update October 2019
Several of the latest Gustuff Trojan samples have been found to include an updated code base. What’s particularly dangerous about them is that a large portion of the samples have been sent via Instagram profiles. The exact attack campaign is focused on posting posts on the social network platform using fake or automatically generated profiles. The aim of the hackers is to manipulate the users into downloading and running the malware code. An alternative is to use SMS messages that can impersonate various services and products. The ongoing attack campaign carrying the Gustuff Trojan appears to continue targeting Australian companies — mainly financial institutions, banks, cryptocurrency companies and traders. The main goal is to gather financial information about the victims and use it to for various crimes. The list of extracted data can include the following:
- Personal Information — This includes various identity information about the user that will reveal the user: a person’s name, address, phone number, stored user credentials and etc.
- App data — This can include stored data in web browsers including preferences, bookmarks and any stored configuration settings.
- Machine Information — The main engine can also create a complete report of the installed hardware components. This can be used to generate an unique identifier that is assigned to every contaminated computer.
The Gustuff Trojan will follow the typical behavior patterns by creating a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server and receive commands from them. This allows the hackers to spy on the victims and hijack their data. Other actions that are run include the launching of a security bypass. This step is done by scanning the memory contents and files for any installed products or services that can block the virus: anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and debug environments.
The updated Gustuff Trojan is used to interact with banking apps and services which means that the malware engine can look up the activities of the users. This is an advanced interactive mechanism that will allow the Trojan to impersonate user actions, spy on the activities and replace values and form data.
Such attacks shows that advanced Trojan infections can cause devastating consequences and also deploy other threats — possibilities include cryptocurrency miners, browser hijackers and ransomware.
Gustuff Trojan — How Did I Get It
The Gustuff Trojan is an infamous banking Trojan that is well-known among various criminal collectives. This means that it is very possible for different hacking groups to take the base code and use it in campaigns. The newest version has been launched by an unidentified hacking collective. The security analysis reveals that the hackers are attacking primarily Australian targets.
At the moment the hacking group is focused on financial and fintech companies and organizations, primarily banks and cryptocurrency wallet holders. This means that the Trojan will be set to target both the end users and the companies and organizations that operate with finances and data. This is usually carried out in phishing and social engineering campaigns. The two most common ways are the following:
- Email Messages — The criminals craft email messages that are designed to appear as impersonating the financial institutions and fintech companies. The victim users will likely receive the relevant scripts and fake/hacked contents.
- Phishing Sites — The hackers can create special hacker-controlled sites that are hosed on similar sounding domain names and can include self-signed security certificates. In order to make the the visitor interact with them the hackers will probably fake login prompts, landing pages and etc.
Some of the intrusions have been found to also use SMS messages to deliver links to the target users. In the latest attack there is a focus on mobile sites meaning that there is a continued interest in acquiring as much victims as possible. The Trojan can be delivered to the visitors using links that are placed in specially made mobile sites. This is done in order to lure in these users. What’s more important is that in order to do so effectively the hackers can also create mobile apps in a way which is very similar to browser hijackers. This means that they the hackers will impersonate developers and upload the apps onto the official repositories and advertise the malware apps using elaborate descriptions. Often fake user reviews will also be posted.
At any time the distribution strategy can change and lead to virus infections via other mechanisms. Such can be the inclusion of the virus scripts in other types of files. Once they are downloaded and run by the users the infection will follow.
A popular spread mechanism is the creation of malware documents which can be of all popular file types — they can be presentations, text files, databases and spreadsheets. As soon as they are opened by the users a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in macros. An alternative is the creation of application installers of popular software which is often installed by end users. These files can be distributed over both the phishing emails and sites, as well as file-sharing networks. Larger campaigns can also use fake or stolen social network profiles.
Gustuff Trojan — Capabilities
The Gustuff Trojan and its latest version have been found to contain an array of dangerous modules which will be launched as soon as the virus is installed on a given machine.
Some of the features which are distinct for this Trojan include the dynamic loading of web views. This can be set for specific hacker-controlled domains allowing the criminals to organize complex infection campaigns. The hackers can constantly change the addresses and use proxy servers and botnets in order to hide the real locations of the machines which are used to send out commands and control the infected hosts.
The infections will typically begin with the starting of a data harvesting component which will harvest a lot of sensitive information found on the computers. This will include not only personal information, but also machine data that can be used by other modules. The gathered personal information will reveal the identity of the victims and allow for financial abuse and identity theft to happen. The data which is collected can be used to detect if there are any running security software and will disable that. Usually this is done against the following applications: anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and etc.
When used in combination with phishing sites and other social engineering tricks it will display a prompt or trigger a site that will ask the victims to update and/or enter their credit card information. This will be done with a design that will impersonate services or companies that the users trusts.
The Trojan like other similar threats will have the ability to take over control of the infected computers. This is done using a connection to a hacker-controlled server which is kept persistent and will allow the hackers to conduct commands and carry out complex operations.
As the Gustuff Trojan is often referred to as a banking Trojan it will include all respective functionality, including the ability to interact with the installed web browsers and detect if the users are accessing any online banks or fintech profiles. Some of the popular tactics which are done by such Trojans include the following actions:
- Automatic Information Collection — When the virus detects that the users are entering in bank information the data will be automatically transmitted to the criminals.
- Field Data Replacement — Among the most popular techniques is the fields replacement action. When the users transfer money or pay for goods the Trojan will automatically replace the recipients bank account. By doing so the victims will be unaware that they have made a transaction to a hacker-controlled bank account.
- Blackmail — By having access to the financial data and personal information the criminals can blackmail their victims for financial gain or for other assets.
Gustuff Trojan — Trojan Apps
During the security analysis the researchers have been able to uncover a partial list of contaminated apps that are uploaded to Google Play and third-party repositories. These applications are designed to appear as legitimate to the victims and are usually posted with scam or hacked developer credentials. Their reputation can be further boosted by counterfeit user reviews and elaborate descriptions. The list includes the following:
com.android.vending, au.com.nab.mobile, com.anz.android.gomoney, org.westpac.bank, au.com.bankwest,mobile, com.ubank.internetbanking, au.com.suncopr.SuncorpBank, org.stgeorge.bank, org.banksa.bank, org.bom.bank, com.anz.android, com.citibank.mobile.au, au.com.ingdirect.android, com.commbank.netbank, com.circle.android, com.moneybookers.skrillpayments, com.westernunion.android.mtapp, piuk.blockchain.android, com.bitcoin.mwallet, com.bitcontract.wallet, com.bitpay.wallet, com.bitpay.copay, btc.org.freewallet.app, org.electrum.electrum, com.xapo, com.airbitz, com.kibou.bitcoin, com.qcan.mobile.bitcoin.wallet, me.cryptopay.android, com.bitcoin.wallet, lt.spectrofinance.spectrocoin.android.wallet, com.kryptokt.jaxx, com.wrex, hcn.org.freewallet.app
How to Remove Gustuff Trojan
In order to fully remove Gustuff 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 Gustuff or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your computer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of Gustuff 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 Gustuff Trojan from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Gustuff Trojan on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Gustuff Trojan in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Gustuff Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Gustuff Trojan from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Gustuff Trojan from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Gustuff Trojan from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable Gustuff Trojan Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove Gustuff Trojan from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Gustuff Trojan
Step 2: Uninstall Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Gustuff Trojan from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff Trojan files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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 Gustuff Trojan will be removed.
Eliminate Gustuff 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 Gustuff 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".