THREAT REMOVAL

SocketPlayer Trojan Removal — Restore Your PC From Infections

This article has been created in order to explain what is the SocketPlayer Trojan Trojan and how to remove this malware completely from your computer.

The SocketPlayer Trojan is a newly discovered virus that is incorporated into two variants. An extensive code analysis reveals that it does include advanced components capable of causing extensive damage to the infected hosts. Read more about it in our removal guide.

Threat Summary

Name SocketPlayer
Type Trojan Horse Virus
Short Description Silently infects the target machines and modifies key applications and system services.
Symptoms The user may not experience any signs of infiltration.
Distribution Method Malicious web links, Malicious Files, Malicious E-Mails
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss SocketPlayer.

SocketPlayer Trojan – How Does It Infect

The SocketPlayer Trojan is being distributed in a small-sized attacks which doesn’t allow the researchers to identify the main infections. method. Many similar threats use such cases in their test releases. This gives us a reason to believe that the criminals behind it may use resort into using the most popular delivery tactics.

A preferred method is the use of SPAM email messages that rely on social engineering techniques. They attempt to impersonate well-known companies by taking text, images and other elements from official sites and creating messages that implement them. In the most typical case the associated SocketPlayer Trojan is delivered aither as a file attachment or hyperlinked in the body contents. These messages can also server as the primary payload delivery mechanism. There are two common types that are being used the most by virus creators:

  • Software Installers — The hackers can embed the virus code into application installers of different types. This is done by taking the legitimate installer from the vendor’s official site and modifying it with the associated virus code.
  • Documents — The SocketPlayer Trojan can be embedded in document files of various types: text, spreadsheets, presentations and etc. Once the victims open the relevant files they will be greeted by a notification prompt asking them to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the associated payload trigger function will be executed. This leads to the virus infection.

The hackers may also create counterfeit download pages that are modeled after the templates used by popular Internet services. Another strategy is to create malicious scripts such as pop-ups,banners, in-line hyperlinks, redirects and etc.

SocketPlayer Trojan – More Information and Analysis

The SocketPlayer Trojan has been analyzed to include several modules that are launched after the virus infections has infected the machines. It institutes itself as a persistent threat which makes it very hard to remove using manual methods. Several techniques are used at once in order to produce an effective installation. It renames itself as a music player or another user-installed applications and installs itself in a system folder. The malware engine also creates Windows registry entries which made it automatically start each time the computer boots.

The other component that it has been found to execute is the stealth protection module. It scans the system for any security software that can interfere with the malware’s correct execution.

At the moment there are two variants of the SocketPlayer Trojan that have been detected by the security researchers:

  • Variant 1 — The first discovery of this version was submitted in the end of March 2018. It appears that this particular threat is to be delivered using phishing messages.
  • Variant 2 — This version differs from the former by using a slightly different infection behavior. It also communicates with the hacker-controlled severs using the associated module.

The SocketPlayer Trojan connects to a hacker-controlled server in order to report the infections. The security analysis also reveals that it does include an elaborate set of available commands that the hacker operators can trigger:

  • fdrive — Iterates through all drives that are ready and returns the name, the total size and again, the name. If a drive isn’t ready, only the name is returned.
  • fdir — If the specified directory isn’t on the system, false is returned. Otherwise the path of the subdirectories, the creation date of those, all files within the current directory, the file size and the creation date of those is returned.
  • mfdir — Returns the filename, file size, creation time and the full name of all the extensions that were specified recursively using the sndflesi method.
  • f1 — If the specified parameter is longer than 3 and contains “:\\” it will return “f1|drive”. Otherwise it will return the name of the parent directory.
  • strtsgnl — Returns the uid of the current running program.
  • fdowl — Using the sndfle function, a file is uploaded to the c2 using the path /cl/upld/.
  • fexc — Executes a file if it exists.
  • fdel — fdel Deletes a directory or file if it exists.
  • procs — Returns information about currently running processes like the process name, whether the process responds, the window title and the process id.
  • prockill — Kills a running process by id. After that the same information as in procs is returned(to check if the process is terminated).
  • Gtscreen — A screenshot is made and returned.
  • upld — A specified file from the /uploads/ folder of the c2 is downloaded and stored to the temporary directory. After that it’s executed.
  • upldex — Similar to upld but with specified location in the temporary directory and an autostart entry for it as well.
  • kylgs — Reads the contents of the file “klsetup.txt” in the temporary directory and returns them.
  • destt — Kills the active socket connection, removes the autostart key,removes the created file and the path from the initial routine andexits itself.

As a consequence we expect that future versions of the SocketPlayer Trojan will include an extensive keylogger and backdoor component. It is also expected that a much larger infection camapign will be executed by the criminals. The full report about the Socket Player Trojan can be downloaded from G Data Software.

Remove SocketPlayer Trojan Effectively from Windows

In order to fully get rid of this Trojan, we advise you to follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are made so that they help you to isolate and then delete the SocketPlayer Trojan Trojan either manually or automatically. If manual removal represents difficulty for you, experts always advise to perform the removal automatically by running an anti-malware scan via specific software on your PC. Such anti-malware program aims to make sure that the SocketPlayer Trojan is fully gone and your Windows OS stays safe against any future malware infections.

Avatar

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter


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

How to Remove SocketPlayer from Windows.


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

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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer:

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 SocketPlayer. 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 SocketPlayer. 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer. 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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 SocketPlayer 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.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Stay tuned
Subscribe for our newsletter regarding the latest cybersecurity and tech-related news.