Qakbot, also referred to as Qbot, is a malware entity that specializes in stealing personal information. The main vector for transmission of this virus is spear-phishing campaigns that rely on contaminated emails that are sent via the Emotet bot.
Creators of the bot have designed it in such a way that it primarily targets banking information and attacks financial institutions. It is able to harvest credentials that can then be used for financial and identity fraud. The goal of the Qakbot Trojan is to generate as much revenue as possible for cyber criminals.
What Can the Qakbot Trojan Do?
The Qakbot Trojan is a very stealthy malware that records keystrokes, cookies, browsing history, logins/passwords, and other personal information such as username, system information, and IP address.
Using the harvested data, cybercriminals are able to perpetrate identity and financial fraud. They can transfer funds, make online purchases, take loans, and even change credit card details. Cybercriminals are also known to use the harvested data to determine whether or not the victim is a good candidate for a ransomware attack.
The hackers can also engage blackmail campaigns, especially if the data that they harvest is compromising in some ways. Finally, they can take over a victim’s social media accounts and use them to extend the reach of the Qakbot malware by sending direct messages to all the friends of the victims.
How to Remove the Qakbot Trojan
To remove the Qakbot Trojan, you need a powerful anti-malware solution that is capable of tracking down the malware entity and deleting it from your system.
To do this, you will have to start your Windows device on Safe Mode with Networking. The same goes for Mac users. What this does is that it gives the anti-malware software all the time it needs to find and isolate the malware entity.
Removing the virus with an antivirus software is just the first step. Remember that your computer was most likely infected as a result of clicking a contaminated attachment that is probably still lying around somewhere. You need to find it and delete it. A PC repair tool will make it easy for you as it also clears browsing history, cookies, and temp files that clog the system.
You can also remove the Qakbot virus manually, although it is much more difficult than using an anti-malware tool. The first step in this process is to identify the malware that you are trying to remove.
On a Windows PC, you need to go to the Task Manager by pressing the Alt, Ctrl and Delete keys and look for any suspicious programs. From there, you need to end the process first, and then proceed to Open file location.
As noted, this method is not without faults because the malware entity that you are trying to remove may be lodged at several places at once.
How to Protect Your System from the Qakbot Trojan
To protect your computer from Trojans such as Qakbot, it is important to understand how they infect computers in the first place. Qakbot is mainly spread through spear-phishing campaigns that exploit common human behaviors and tendencies, such as being too quick to trust, thirst for knowledge, and the desire to land a good deal.
If you could control your impulses as you respond to emails and direct messages from unfamiliar sources and even sometimes from friends (if their accounts are hacked), then you will greatly reduce your risk of infection.
It also goes without saying that you need to have an anti-malware software on your device at all times and not the free version as free antivirus programs rarely rise to the challenge when it comes to dealing with stealthy malware entities like the Qakbot Trojan.