The .IQY virus is a very dangerous malicious threat that incorporates an advanced Trojan. Infections with it can lead to network-wide propagation of virus code and the deployment of other viruses. Our article examines it in details and shows how victims can remove it from their computers.
|Type||Scam / Malware|
|Short Description||Silently infects the computer victims and modifies the operating system.|
|Symptoms||The victims may not experience any symptoms .|
|Distribution Method||Via e-mail messages that imitate well-known companies .|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .IQY.|
.IQY Virus – Overview
The .IQY virus attack is a recent example of how computer hackers leverage different tactics in order to infiltrate as many hosts as possible. The main driving force behind the reported instances is the Necurs botnet which is one of the most commonly used methods for orchestrating worldwide campaigns.
The first reported incidents were identified back in May using the SPAM email messages tactic. The computer hackers behind the .IQY virus campaigns utilize advanced social engineering scams that attempt to blackmail the victims into believing that they originate from a well-known company. The criminals spoof original notification messages and are spreading false “unpaid invoice” emails.
The security analysis reveals that the email SPAM messages follow a template with two components — a fake message ID and a fake email domain name. The subject names usually have a name such as UNPAID INVOICE [ID:0203959101].
The actual email messages look like the real messages that are being sent out. The computer hackers have take the legitimate templates including all associated photos and text. Normally the criminals will also mimic the behavior of the companies by including a non-personalized greeting.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the .IQY virus is the fact that its signature was not initially recognized by most anti-virus programs. The reason for this is the fact that the first campaigns were very limited in size and scope. As such the signatures were not made until the large-scale infections started.
It is very possible that the criminals behind the .IQY virus can use other methods of distribution as well. A popular alternative is the use of payload carriers, two of the most popular forms are the following:
- Infected Documents — The criminals can embed the dangerous virus scripts into documents (text files, spreadsheets, presentations and others) by using scripts (macros). Typically once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt appears which asks the users to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the infection follows.
- Software Installers — Using a similar tactic the hackers can embed the dangerous code into application installers of popular software. They are usually chosen to be productivity and office tools, creativity suites, system utilities and etc. The files are downloaded from the legitimate vendor sites and modified by the hackers in such a way that it doesn’t show to the end users.
The hackers can create their own download sites that can mimic the real ones. The hackers can take images, text and use similar sounding domains to fool the users. In addition they can use file sharing networks such as BitTorrent as well.
.IQY Virus — Possible Development
Once the respective .IQY virus is activated on the infected host it launches a payload downloader. It contains a built-in list of URLs that host the actual virus instances.
The security analysis reveals that this downloads a hacker-modified copy of the leaked remote desktop program called Ammyy Admin known as FlawedAmmy. It has been in use by hackers since 2016 in various similar Trojan instances. At the moment it seems that most FlawedAmmy attack campaigns are being used in two attack types:
- Targeted Attacks — The hackers use highly-targeted email attacks against major companies in set industries, for example the automobile industry.
- Bulk SPAM Campaigns — A large-scale campaign that can encompass millions of messages over the span of several years have been detected. They typically spoof the messages of well-known Internet services in order to manipulate the victims into interacting with the dangerous elements.
The FlawedAmmy tool offers advanced functionality that can enable the .IQY virus to function as an advanced Trojan. It is able to connect to a hacker-controlled server and report back all harvested information. This includes information that can directly expose the victim’s identity: their name, address, location, interests, location, passwords and account credentials. The very same data gathering engine is used to extract other information that can be used to help the hacker operators to optimize the campaign metrics. This includes a full profile of the hardware components and certain strings from the host operating system. The Trojan component can also be used to spy on the victims in real-time, as well as overtake their computers. The .IQY virus instances can be used to deploy additional threats to the affected systems. This is a very dangerous scenario that is often performed in advanced infiltration attempts.
The .IQY virus by itself can be configured to manipulate the Windows Registry entries. When this is against any of the user-installed applications as a result some functions may stop working. If the changes affect the operating system itself the overall computer performance may be affected.
One of the reasons why the .IQY virus and its associated Trojan is difficult to handle by cybersecurity experts is the fact that its being sent out in very large numbers. One of the major targets are large international companies that heavily utilize documents of various types in their external and internal communications. By default system administrators are known to disable the macros execution by default. However as the messages do look like the real notifications that are being sent out by the companies many users may fall victim to it. As a result this can lead to a devastating network-wide infection.
Remove .IQY Virus from Your Computer
In order to make sure that the “.IQY Virus” scam is fully gone from your computer, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been divided in manual and automatic removal manuals so that they can help you delete this threat based on your malware removal experience. If manual removal is not exactly something that you feel confident in doing, recommendations are to remove this malware or check if it has your infected your computer automatically by downloading and scanning your computer via an advanced anti-malware program. Such software will effectively make sure that your PC is fully secured and you passwords and data remain safe in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove .IQY from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of .IQY on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove .IQY in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase .IQY from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall .IQY from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove .IQY from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate .IQY from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable .IQY Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the .IQY Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .IQY 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 .IQY?
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 .IQY 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 .IQY from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .IQY
Step 2: Uninstall .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY (Windows).
Get rid of .IQY from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall .IQY 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 .IQY:
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 .IQY. 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 .IQY. 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 .IQY 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 .IQY. 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 .IQY files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as .IQY, 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 .IQY (Mac)
Remove .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY 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 .IQY will be removed.
Eliminate .IQY 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 .IQY 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".
What is .IQY?
The .IQY 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 .IQY?
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 .IQY?
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 .IQY?
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.