Trojan Horse viruses are a very threatening and dangerous type of malware. Trojans can be sued for a variety of different illegal virtual activities and are often very difficult to detect. Therefore, being well acquainted with the main characteristics and traits of this malware category is essential in order to keep your computer safe and secure. Our focus within the following lines will be on one particular virus that falls under the Trojan Horse category – its name is Trojan-spy.win32.agent.gen and it is one of the newest versions of this this malware type. Read carefully the information provided below and if you need help removing Trojan-spy.win32.agent.gen from your PC in case the computer has already been infected, you can use our removal guide located below the current article.
Introduction to the Trojan Horse malware category
Everybody has heard about this nasty type of viruses and how dangerous and harmful they can be for any PC’s system. One important thing to note here is that a typical Trojan can be modified to execute different tasks once it infects the targeted machine. All that it normally takes is that the malware file gets ran on the PC by an Administrator’s account – if this happens, the hacker who uses the Trojan would be able to do all sorts of misdeeds and maybe even remain unnoticed by the victim. Down below, we will give you an overall idea of what some Trojans might be able to do once the infiltrate your computer but note that there are a lot more possibilities that will not be mentioned here – we will stick only to the most common uses of Trojans.
Trojan Horse Versatility
Here is a short list of the main ways in which a malware program of the Trojan Horse kind might get used:
- System damage – a lot of PCs that get invaded by Trojans get severely damaged by the malware’s activity. The virus might corrupt or outright delete important system data leading to unstable computer behavior, a lot of errors, freezes, slow-downs, etc. Another potential issue caused by Trojans are the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes where all of a sudden your PC stops working and a blue screen with text gets displayed on the screen. In many cases, such a Trojan might make it next to impossible to normally use the computer.
- Espionage – Some Trojans are capable of monitoring your activities through a variety of espionage methods. They might gather telemetry data, take screenshots of your screen or monitor it in real time and they may also keep tabs on your keystrokes through the keylogging method. Another scary and disturbing way in which a Trojan could potentially spy on you is by exploiting your personal webcam by taking over it and using it to directly spy on you and look into your room. Victims of this type of espionage might not even know that the camera is turned on.
- Money theft – Some Trojans also have the ability to display a fake (but convincing) form where the user is required to fill in credit card credentials. If the user falls for this ruse and provides the required information, the hacker would be able to gain access to their banking account and steal all the money from it.
- Virus infection – If a Trojan infiltrates your PC, it could be used to download other malware inside your system. A common example is when a Ransomware virus gets downloaded onto the victim’s computer that can encrypt all personal files on the hard-drive in order to make them inaccessible. Later, the hacker blackmails its victim for a money payment using the key that would unlock the files as leverage.
Trojan Horse detection issues
You might be able to spot an attack by Trojan-spy.win32.agent.gen by noticing that your PC has become sluggish or if it has started experiencing frequent errors or BSOD crashes. However, sometimes Trojan-spy.win32.agent.gen might not trigger symptoms that would easily get spotted. This can make it very unlikely that the virus gets detected in time. Therefore, it is always important to have your machine equipped with reliable and high-quality protection software such as a good antivirus program and maybe a dedicated web anti-malware tool. Also, it is crucial that your firewall stays constantly on and that your OS is always updated to its later version so that any known security vulnerabilities would be patched-out.
How not to get infected
Naturally, it is better to simply keep a Trojan like Trojan-spy.win32.agent.gen away from your PC than to have to find a way to have it removed. Although there are many methods for malware distribution like fake and misleading web ads and offers, illegal and unreliable websites, spam messages, etc. as long as one uses their common sense when surfing the Internet, the chances of actually landing some dangerous and noxious virus would be greatly diminished. Just make sure that you avoid anything suspicious that you might see online and only go to trusted websites and use software from trusted developers. As we already mentioned, having your computer well-equipped with the necessary security programs is also important but you need to remember that the best protection that your machine comes from you and what you do (and not do) on the Internet.
Sidenote: Readers of this guide are advised to bookmark this page or have it opened on another device since it is possible that they will need to close the browser at a some point during the tie they are completing the following steps.
The first thing that needs to be done prior to anything else is that you boot your PC into Safe Mode. If you are not sure how to do it, use this link to a guide on how to enter Safe Mode.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. Go to the Processes section and look for any suspicious-looking processes. Usually, malware processes use high amounts of RAM and CPU and also have shady description (or none at all). Right-click on those processes and select Open File Location. If you are sure that the process is coming from the virus, delete everything in the file location. Also, right-click on the process again and then select End Process.
Press Winkey + R and type appwiz.cpl. Press Enter and in the newly opened window look for any shady program installs. Right-click on the suspicious programs and select uninstall. Follow the prompts to uninstall the sketchy application.
Open the Run window again (Winkey + R), type msconfig and hit Enter. Go to the Startup section and from the list of programs, uncheck everything that seems shady or has an unknown or suspicious-looking manufacturer. Click on OK. On Windows 10, the startup programs list is in the Task Manager.
Open the Start Menu and paste the following line in the search bar: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Click on the first result that gets displayed. A notepad file should open, look at the bottom of the text and see if there are any IP addresses below localhost. Write to us in the comments if you saw anything there.
Type regedit in the Run search bar and hit Enter. When the Registry Editor opens, press Ctrl + F, type the name of the virus and select Find Next. If anything gets found, right-click on it and select Delete. Do this for all search results.
Additionally, manually navigate to the following directories and see if they have any folders/keys that look shady (with a lot of random numbers and letters):
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Any other random directory
Delete everything that looks suspicious. If you are not sure whether to delete something, be sure to ask us in the comments.