The term “CPU-Z virus” refers to malicious content camouflaged as the legitimate CPU-Z application, a well-known freeware system profiling and monitoring tool. Cybercriminals often employ deceptive tactics, utilizing names and graphics associated with genuine products or bundling them with harmful software or malware to dupe unsuspecting users. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the “CPU-Z virus,” its characteristics, how it infiltrates systems, and essential steps for detection and removal.
“CPU-Z Virus” Overview
The deceptive/malicious content labeled as the “CPU-Z virus” is a prime example of cybercriminals exploiting the trust users place in widely recognized applications. One notable campaign involved a trojanized CPU-Z installer distributed through malvertising, with the aim of infecting systems with data-stealing malware. The campaign utilized a search engine poisoning technique through malicious Google Ads, leading users to a fake website imitating a legitimate tech news site for Windows.
- Name: “CPU-Z” malware
- Threat Type: Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
- Detection Names: Ikarus (Trojan-Downloader.PowerShell.Agent), Jiangmin (Trojan.Bingoml.ajl), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.PowerShell.Age), McAfee (PS/Downloader.hy), Microsoft (Trojan:PowerShell/Malgent!MSR), and more (VirusTotal).
- Payload: FakeBat, RedLine, etc.
How “CPU-Z Virus” Infiltrates Computers
The campaign involving the “CPU-Z virus” relies on malicious online advertisements and search engine poisoning to trick users into downloading a trojanized CPU-Z installer. Once the user clicks on a manipulated Google Ads result, they are redirected to a fake website resembling a legitimate tech news site. The website prompts users to download a trojanized CPU-Z installation setup, which contains a valid certificate to diminish detection chances by Windows security measures.
The installer, when executed, triggers the installation of the FakeBat malware, a loader that infiltrates the RedLine stealer into systems. RedLine is an information-stealing malware designed to pilfer sensitive data, including usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and information related to cryptocurrency wallets and various software.
Detecting and Removing “CPU-Z Virus”
To identify and counter the “CPU-Z virus,” cybersecurity experts use various detection names, including but not limited to:
- Ikarus (Trojan-Downloader.PowerShell.Agent)
- Jiangmin (Trojan.Bingoml.ajl)
- Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.PowerShell.Age)
- McAfee (PS/Downloader.hy)
- Microsoft (Trojan:PowerShell/Malgent!MSR)
It is crucial to stay vigilant and update threat intelligence regularly to detect and mitigate this emerging threat effectively.
- Isolate Infected Systems: Disconnect the infected system from the network to prevent further spread.
- Document the Infection: Record any ransom messages or demands for future reference.
- Remove the Ransomware:
- Use reputable antivirus or anti-malware software to perform a full system scan.
- Quarantine or delete any identified threats.
- Restore from Backup: If possible, restore affected systems from a clean backup taken before the infection.
- Strengthen Security Measures:
- Update and patch software regularly to address vulnerabilities.
- Implement robust email and web filtering to block malicious content.
- Educate users about phishing threats and safe online practices.
Best Practices to Enhance Cybersecurity
- Regular Backups: Maintain routine backups of critical data to facilitate swift recovery in case of a malware attack.
- Software Updates: Keep operating systems and software up to date to patch known vulnerabilities.
- User Training: Educate users about the risks of phishing attacks and the importance of exercising caution online.
- Network Segmentation: Implement network segmentation to limit the lateral movement of malware within a network.
- Incident Response Plan: Develop and regularly update an incident response plan to ensure a swift and coordinated response to security incidents.
How to Avoid Installation of Malware
To minimize the risk of malware infections, follow these guidelines:
- Be vigilant when browsing and avoid suspicious websites.
- Pay attention to URLs and enter them with care.
- Download only from official and verified sources.
- Read terms, explore options, and use “Custom/Advanced” settings during installations.
- Activate and update programs using legitimate functions/tools.
- Install and update reliable antivirus software for regular system scans.
In case of suspected infection, run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware. Swift detection, effective removal, and proactive cybersecurity practices are essential in mitigating the impact of threats like the “CPU-Z virus.”