Updatechecker.exe Miner Trojan and Adware - How to Detect + Remove It

Updatechecker.exe Miner Trojan and Adware – How to Detect + Remove It

Update July 2019! This article has been created in order to explain what exactly is the Updatechecker.exe process and how to remove this adware and miner Trojan completely from your PC.

SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in February 2018. But we gave it an update in July 2019.

A new silent Trojan horse which displays advertisements and uses a cryptocurrency miner has been detected by malware analysts. The malware, also known as Updatechecker.exe, because of the process it runs, pretending to be a Windows Update, has been reported to use the CPU and GPU resources on the infected PCs by it in order to obtain cryptocurrencies. In addition to this, the Updatechecker.exe also has modules, whose primary purpose is to display advertisements on the computer of the victim, that may introduce other risks on it as well. If you see the Updatechecker.exe or Taskhostw.exe processes running in the background of your computer, recommendations are to read the following article and learn how to remove Updatechecker.exe from your computer.

Threat Summary

NameUpdatechecker.exe Miner
TypeMiner Trojan and Adware
Short DescriptionAims to run two processes, one of which displays advertisements and the other one mines for cryptocurrencies, like BitCoin or Monero.
SymptomsYour computer may slow down, freeze at times and multiple different advertisements are also displayed.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files, Fake setups
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Updatechecker.exe Miner


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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Updatechecker.exe Miner.

Updatechecker.exe Miner – How Did I Get It

The primary method via which your computer could have become infected with the Updatechecker Adware Miner is believed to be a fake setup or a program which you may have downloaded from the web, believing is legitimate. Such malware usually pretends to be:

  • Setup of a driver.
  • Installer of a free program or a game.
  • Patch for game.
  • Crack or other license activator.
  • Key generator for activation.

In addition to via fake setups of programs, there is also the likelihood that you may have clicked on a malicious web link that may have been sent to you via e-mail or via chat service, like Messenger, Viber, etc.

Updatechecker Miner Trojan – Malicious Activity

Once this malware has been installed on your computer system, it drops the following files on it:

  • Updatechecker.exe
  • Taskhostw.exe

What is actually Update Checker (Updatechecker.exe)? The Updatechecker.exe is the main malicious file, which is also responsible for the advertisements displayed by the virus. After the file is ran, it launches the other process, called

Taskhostw.exe, whose purpose is to connect your computer to a mining pool. Such mining pools are the primary places where computers join their efforts to mine for cryptocurrency tokens, like BitCoins or Monero. This procedure results in various different side effects, such as your computer slowing down significantly, due to over usage of your central processing unit (CPU) or graphics processor (GPU). The malware also keeps an active connection to a pool but credits all of the mined cryptocurrency tokens to the wallet of the cyber-criminals who have created it at the expense of using your PC’s resources.

Both of the files Taskhostw.exe and Updatechecker.exe aim to imitate legitimate Windows processes and both of them are dropped in the following directory:

%AppData%\Local\Microsoft\Windows Update

In addition to mining for cryptocurrencies, this Trojan may perform a series of malicious activities on your PC, like:

  • Log your keystrokes.
  • Take screenshots from it.
  • Make sure that you cannot access some administrative directories.
  • Steal files directly from your PC.
  • Obtain passwords and logins from your web browser.

Furthermore, since it is also adware, the Trojan may display series of advertisements on your computer system, which can lead you to various suspicious sites, like tech support scams, financial scamming ones and even malicious websites, that may infect your computer with malware. The advertisements displayed may come in different forms, such as:

  • Banners replaced on the legitimate sites you have visited.
  • Pop-ups that may appear with animations and sounds.
  • Highlighted text pop-ups, hijacking legitimate web pages.
  • Browser redirections.

Cryptocurrency miners and adware are not a new thing, even though the miners are a developing trend. However, this is the first time, where we actually have the chance to see adware in combination with a Trojan horse, containing a cryptocurrency miner – quite impressive and likely done by an experienced programmer. Removal of this malware is highly advisable because it can damage the components on your computer and steal important information from it. In addition to this, we also advise you to change all of your passwords from a safe device.

Remove Updatechecker.exe Miner Adware Trojan from Your PC

In order to remove Updatechecker.exe malware, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are divided into manual and automatic removal manuals and if manual removal is not something you are used to doing, experts advise downloading and installing an advanced anti-malware software to automatically scan your computer and remove Updatechecker.exe Miner and adware. Such software will also ensure that your computer is protected against infections in the future as well.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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