This blog post has been created to explain what is the HackToo.Zacinlo malware and show how you can remove it from your PC.
A new malware, calling itself Zacinlo has been recently detected by Symantec researchers to perform series of unwanted activities on the computers of victims. The malware’s main goal is to create various different types of files which monitor the infected computers and the tool registers various different types of entries that allow it to stop system processes and having it on your computer may mean that you may start seeing BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). If your PC has become infected by HackTool.Zacinlo, we advise that you read this article and learn how you can remove HackTool.Zacinlo from your computer completely.
|Name||S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware|
|Type||Hacktool Malware/ Rootkit|
|Short Description||Heavily modifies Windows, shuts down system processes and blocks system activities on the infected computers.|
|Symptoms||The tool begins to monitor your PC and stop processes and if debugger is active, you may see BSOD.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware.|
HackTool.Zacinlo – Spread
In order for this HackTool to be spread onto the computers of victims, the malware may come together with a fake program, like:
- Fake version or setup of an often used software, like converters, etc.
- Fake portable versions of programs.
In addition to this, the Zacinlo malware, believed to originate from Romanie by the Zacinlo hacking group, has been reported to also add a rootkit compnent and to pretend to be the free VPN service, called s5Mark, which is advertised as an application that is seemingly helpful and provides free VPN services. The app looks like the following:
The app was previouslycategorized as a potentially unwanted programs by malware researchers and now it seems to be used to install Zacinlo malware, which is both a rootkit and a Trojan at the same time.
Zacinlo Malware – Analysis
The distribition of this application and It’s advertisements has been reported to first be active in 2014. The activity then continued in waves in 2015, 2017 and the latest wave is June, 2018.
Once installed on the computer of the victim, the S5Mark VPN program may perform series of malicious activites on the victim PC, with an end goal of installing the malicious component. The S5Mark program itself may remotely connect to a third-party VPN server, the main idea of which is to display various third-party advertisements on the computer of the victim, such as:
- Browser redirects.
- Online banners.
- Highlighted text advertisements.
Besides the fact that these applications may obtain different information from the victim’s computer, the Zacinlo malware performs series of malicious activites in the background as well. These activities start with modifying the following Windows Registry sub-keys by creating sub-keys in them wit custom values:
The Zacinlo malware then runs a system check up of the following Registry Values:
The check up is done with the goal to filter how programs are opened and with what permissions, which gives the maware control of the executed software on your computers.
The Zacinlo malware then proceeds with it’s malicious activities by checking for the following files to be present in data components of the Windows Registry Editor:
The malware may also blacklist the following .SYS (System) files if they are present somewhere in the Windows Registry Editor:
In addition to this, the Zacinlo malware also performs heavy monitoring of what types of processes are created. If the processes that are created are one of the blacklisted onses, the virus blacklists the certificate and the original file name of the process it does not want to run, until the process has ended, suggesting that this hacktool is the work of someone with quite the experience with Windows systems.
But the Zacinlo malware may also shut down processes automatically. Researchers have reported it to target and delete any registry entries of the infected computer that may belong to the following .EXE processes:
The malware creates a threat which checks whether or not the Windows 10 debugger is active.
Remove HackTool Zacinlo from Your Computer Completely
The Zacinlo malware can be removed manually if you follow the manual removal instructions below. But since they are general methods and approach on how to remove viruses such as Zacinlo, complications may occur if you try to remove Zacinlo yourself, because one wrong file that is deleted may make the difference between breaking your Windows and stopping it from functioning and deleting the virus completely. This is why, for maximum effectiveness, security professionals often advise turning to an advanced anti-malware software and taking the automatic removal approach. Such software will automatically scan your computer for the Zacinlo malware and remove it from your computer completely, plus ensure that your PC stays protected agianst future infection as well.
- Guide 1: How to Remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware
Step 2: Uninstall S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 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.
Remove S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware will be removed.
Eliminate S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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.