THREAT REMOVAL

S5Mark VPN (HackTool.Zacinlo) Malware – How to Remove It from Your PC

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.

Threat Summary

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.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

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.
  • Cracks.
  • Patches.
  • Keygens.
  • Other.

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:

  • Pop-ups.
  • 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:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\atimode
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\set_st
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\set_bl
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\set_pt
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\set_hp
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\set_hpdl
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\FilterClasses
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\shield_count

The Zacinlo malware then runs a system check up of the following Registry Values:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\PowerMode
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\Network\PowerMode2

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:

→ BAPIDRV64.SYS
DSARK64.SYS
FILTERINGD.SYS
HITMANPRO
KNBDRV.SYS
MBAMSWISSARMY.SYS
MWAC.SYS
NNSPIHSW.SYS
PANDA_URL_
SYMNETS.SYS

The malware may also blacklist the following .SYS (System) files if they are present somewhere in the Windows Registry Editor:

→ ASWMONFLT.SYS
ASWSP.SYS
ATC.SYS
AVGMONFLT.SYS
AVGNTFLT.SYS
AVGSP.SYS
EPP64.SYS
GZFLT.SYS
KLBACKUPFLT.SYS
KLIF.SYS
MBAM.SYS
PSINFILE.SYS
SRTSP64.SYS
SYMEVENT64X86.SYS
TRUFOS.SYS
WDFILTER.SYS
ZAM64.SYS

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:

.EXE Processes Stopped by Zacinlo Malware in the Windows Registry Editor

→ AGENTSVC.EXE
ANONYMIZERLAUNCHER
APPVERIFIER.EXE
BESTCLEANER.EXE
BFSVC.EXE
CASTER.EXE
COMPUCLEVER.EXE
CWSHREDDER.EXE
DEKKER.EXE
DSRLTE.EXE
EITEHKO.EXE
FASTWEB.EXE
FOOTPRINTS.EXE
FOREPLAY.EXE
GEUNFY.EXE
GMER.EXE
GMSD_US_
GOPIDUL.EXE
GUVTDHJI.EXE
HDAUDIO.EXE
HEMKAJDOA.EXE
HIJACKTHIS.EXE
IC-
INTERNETPORT3.EXE
INTERSTAT
IPARMOR.EXE
JSDRV.EXE
LEAPING
LOWYKU.EXE
MAINTAINER.EXE
MSASCUI.exe
MSMPENG.EXE
MSSECES.EXE
MUSGOWNYO.EXE
MYMEMORY
MYTRANSITGUIDE
NETTRANS.EXE
NOWUSEEITPLAYER.EXE
ONESYSTEMCARE.EXE
OPTIMUM
OSPD_US_
PCCLEANPLUS
PRODUPD.EXE
Q3CI_ CGVP.EXE
RATCHET.EXE
RAWEI.EXE
REMOTEPROCESSES.EXE
REOPTIMIZER
RVL1QB3C.EXE
RZSYNAPSE.EXE
S5MARK
SECURITYTASKMANAGER.EXE
SET.EXE
SETMYHOMEPAGE.EXE
SMOLDER.EXE
SPEEDUPMYPC.EXE
SPYHUNTER4.EXE
SUNNYDAY.EXE
UNIT.EXE
UNIT_MANAGER.EXE
UNOKUCU.EXE
UPDATEADMIN.EXE
VESTIE.EXE
VETICEQ.EXE
VIDSQAURE
VPDAGENT_X64.EXE
WEBDEV.EXE
WINCHECK.EXE
WINDOWEATHER.EXE
WINDOWS DEFENDER.EXE
WINDOWS10UPGRADERAPP.EXE
WINLOGGER.EXE
WIN_EN_77.EXE
WIZZCASTER.EXE
XEEEDXI.EXE
XMKYSECQUN64.EXE
YTDOWNLOADER.EXE

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.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari 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

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 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. 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware:

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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware. 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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware. 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 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:

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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware. 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 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.


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


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.



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


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.



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


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".

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 S5Mark VPN and Zacinlo Malware 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 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.


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