Security tips

What Is PWS Threat And How Dangerous Is It?

The PWS stands for “Password Stealer”. It is primarily associated with stealing account log-in details. Some Trojan-PWS works by spying on an individual computer while performing data-stealing routines. It usually drops a keylogging component to steal users’ passwords on a regular basis. These components often remain active in Windows memory. The Trojan-PWS will then start recording keystrokes when a user is prompted to input their username and password.

An attacker is able to read a user’s e-mail on public and corporate mail servers through stolen log-ins and passwords. It gives them access to more sensitive materials such as online banking accounts. This program has triggered a series of cybercrimes worldwide and it is essential to have an idea of how to deal with the virus.

Besides stealing passwords, it has the ability of secretly installing other malicious programs on the host computer. This allows the hacker to be in control of important information while spying on the user.

The Trojan password stealer is comprised of a large family of data-stealing programs. This implies that they are available in many variants and can also perform different malicious actions. For example, they can connect to remote servers for further downloads, monitor a user’s web browsing behavior and also manipulate system files on the computer.

How dangerous is it?

It puts an infected computer at risk of other unknown viruses from different malicious sources. Its ability to download malware files and steal account log-in details can expose your private information. This includes bank account logins, IP, system certificates, port number and operating system details.

A hacker who uses such a program is always aware of everything you do on the internet as it allows them to view your browsing history. They can also retrieve personal information embedded in your emails that are protected from falling into the wrong hands. The Trojan-PWS can run any executable files in the background that go unnoticed by the PC user. It is important that your PC is safe from such a virus by installing a powerful anti-malware.

How does it work? – An overview of the Trojan PWS

A password stealer is a Trojan that is normally hidden in malicious programs. It can be sent to you as a link or email that prompts you to install. This Trojan attempts to gain root access to your PC once you install the carrier. The PWS may be difficult to detect because they are integrated into the operating system.

The password stealer is executed each time you boot your computer while attempting to download and install other malicious programs automatically. It then deletes the source program upon successful execution which makes it more difficult to be detected.

Trojans are considered to be the widely circulated and most dangerous strains of malware. A Trojan will disguise itself in your computer while inducing you to install it. A lot of damage normally occurs by the time the user discovers and makes an attempt to remove it. Their primary intention is to stop the normal functionality of the host computer.

They not only slow down your computer but also affect the genuine software programs. Some of their abilities include stealing your confidential information, deleting files and monitoring your computer activities. Attackers gain full access to your computer as if they are seated right in front of it. This is because the information acquired by the Trojan-PWS is sent to their server without your knowledge.

How they get to the host computer

There are many ways in which this virus can get installed on your computer. It is important to be careful in case of any suspicious activity as it can have serious implications on your system. They often gain access via source programs that carry a Trojan payload prompting you to install them. Common sources of such programs include:

  • Email attachments
  • Legitimate websites infected with Trojans
  • Malicious websites that specifically inject Trojans
  • Fake updates that are presented for already installed software
  • Free downloadable games
  • Peer-to-peer sharing software
  • Social media links that point to infected websites or files

Signs that your computer is infected by the PWS

The main symptoms that suggest of password stealer infections are:

A change in browser settings

The Trojan-PWS usually installs rogue files so that it can modify your browser settings related to the proxy. This slows down your internet access and you may experience unwanted websites that keep loading through frequent pop-ups or directly in the active browser window.

Registry modifications

This malware attempts to add new registry entries while modifying the existing ones. They infect your systems gradually to give full access to information to the hacker. Over time, you will notice slow and unusual behavior with your computer.

Unnatural network activities

This may result in slow internet speeds because the Trojan is attempting to access your network to download other malicious programs. It is like two people are competing to use the same computer at the same time for different reasons.

Slow computer

It may take a very long time for your computer to boot up since there are unknown startup programs that were downloaded by the malware. This is because your PC takes some time to open such a load besides your normal programs. You will also notice that your computer is performing slowly because other malicious programs that were downloaded over time are running in the background.

How to remove password stealer virus

The first thing you should know is that it is very difficult to detect this type of malware and remove manually. However, there are different types of powerful anti-malware programs that have the ability to detect and remove the PWS successfully. It only takes a single full scan to remove the virus and any other infected files.

It is also essential to know that scanning and removing the threat using anti-malware software does not fix the modifications that were made to your Windows registry. What needs to be done? It is recommended to use a registry cleaner program to remove invalid registry entries on your Windows Registry.

Use an anti-malware program

Although there are several anti-malware programs, not all of them are effective in eliminating the Trojan-PWS. We recommend using GridinSoft Anti-Malware which can be downloaded for free. It is widely used to clean the PWS virus. Besides, this program has the ability to detect and remove the latest variants of other viruses. You will first have to install Anti-Malware before scanning your computer and removing the threat.

Cleaning your windows registry

The Trojan-PWS has the ability to modify your computer’s Windows Registry. Its intent is to modify the existing ones and create new registry entries. It is very important to clean the registry to free your PC from the malicious program. We recommend the CCleaner which is effective in cleaning your registry.

The Trojan PWS can cause significant damage to your computer while giving full access to hackers. Prevention is the best way to avoid the virus infection. Never download or install programs from untrusted sources. Do frequent scans to eliminate any threats from your computer. It helps save your PC from damage and protect your personal information from the public.

Say bye bye to PWS!

Polina Lisovskaya

Polina works as marketing manager for a year now and loves searching for interesting topics for you:)

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