What Is Citadel virus?
Citadel virus is reported as a scary computer infection that is known for data stealing. This notorious type of trojan was firstly discovered in 2011 and was based on the family of the Zeus virus. Creators of this parasite Mark Vartanyan refers to “Kolypto” uses this keylogging tool to gather the login credentials from the highly favored password managers who can use KeePass and password safe. Thus, when the Citadel virus was created and afterward it started harvesting the PC and has been compromised over 11 million devices across the world and that caused the affected user to lose $500 million. However, some year has passed but in March 2017 the black day for the developers of the trojan Citadel virus was hand over to the United State with the joint efforts and help from Microsoft and FBI. Thus, the developer of the Citadel virus had to face criminal charges which were related to the malware and was put behind the bars for five years.
|Developer||Mark Vartanyan aka “Kolypto”|
|Symptoms||Password stealing, Collect botnet, locking users from security|
|Distribution Method||Spam emails, Vulnerabilities|
|Removal||Always use strong anti-malware software|
Analysis Of Citadel virus
After going into the bars the function of the Citadel virus was continued from the underground forums which were one of the first viruses which amongst use the malware-as-a-service strategy. Then, the numbers of infection methods were used by the partner like Blackhole Ek, to affect the user into the scary payloads and then imply the system network into a botnet, and further through dropping virus. On a serious note, the user should not think that this rogue Trojan is no more active because the developer of the Citadel virus is inside the prison. Therefore, the user should be aware of earlier infection hence the presence of the Citadel virus may lead to severe dangerous issues.
After the distribution of the Citadel virus was grab in 2016, a new version based on it was released called “Atoms”. Though it was mainly designed to attack the banks and later it turned out that the malware was also used to release TeslaCrypt Ransomware which initially started infecting the computer devices slowly through web injects. This dangerous infection is able to invade the PC devices and remain inside the machine for a long time which means it cannot be easily found through security programs.
Due to the scary nature of the Citadel virus users have to deal with many other dangerous issues such as Boot errors, Data loss, Malfunctioning of the Application, System crash, Hard drive failure, and so on. Thus, it can deactivate all the running security programs and make the system more vulnerable to more dangerous activities. So lastly, we would recommend using strong anti-malware software to protect the entire system from the Citadel virus.
How Citadel virus Spreads on The Computer
Citadel virus spreads into the devices through various activities. Cybercriminals distribute this threat via some sophisticated methods such as Banking malware, Ransomware attack, and so on. Some of the common techniques used by hackers are email spamming, web injects, fake and pirated software updaters, and some do with software bundles. Bundling is the technique in which hackers earn revenue through illegal methods. So the user is strictly prohibited to download or install the programs or applications from fake software. Always use anti-malware software to scan the devices on a timely basis.
Prevention steps for Citadel virus
To prevent the devices, it is important to be very cautious while surfing the web and stay away from these dangerous sources to keep the system secured. Use should not open the suspicious emails coming from unknown sources as they often contain malicious files and sometimes it been clicked, lead to the virus installation. Updating or downloading software from official sites only and avoid using untrustworthy channels. Never click on malicious ads or links that usually appear while surfing the net which might redirect you to malware infection. On a lighter note remove the Citadel virus as soon as possible.
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Details of Antimalware with User’s Guide
Important Note: This virus seeks users to enable web browser notifications. So, before opting for the manual removal process, execute these steps.
For Google Chrome (PC)
- Users need to Go to right upper corner of the screen and find three dots and click there open the Menu button
- Now in order to Select “Settings”. users need to Scroll the mouse downward to choose as “Advanced” option.
- Then Go to “Privacy and Security” section by scrolling downward. Once done you need to select “Content settings” and then “Notification” option
- Now Find all suspicious URLs and select and click on three dots on the right side
- Now all you have to do is to choose “Block” or “Remove” option
Google Chrome (Android)
- Firstly users should Go to right upper corner of the screen
- Then click on three dots in order to open the menu button and again click on “Settings”
- Now scroll down further to click on “site settings” and there after press on “notifications” option
- This would open a new window, now you need to choose each suspicious URLs one by one
- under permission section, users need to select “notification” and “Off” the toggle button.
From Mozilla Firefox
- At the right corner of the screen, users can find three dots which is the “Menu” button
- Now you need to Select “Options” and choose “Privacy and Security” for the toolbar which is present in the left side on the screen
- Now you need to Slowly scroll down and go to “Permission” section then select “Settings” option which is just next to “Notifications”
- This will open a new window, So now select all the suspicious URLs. Finally Click on the drop-down menu and select “Block” option
From Internet Explorer
- Open and select Internet Explorer window, then you need to select the Gear button which is present at the right corner
- Then Choose “Internet Options”
- users need to Select “Privacy” tab and then click on “Settings” under the “Pop-up Blocker” section
- Finally you need to Select all the suspicious URLs and click on the “Remove” option one by one.
In Microsoft Edge
- First of all Open the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows PC. Then click on the three dots which can be found on right corner of the screen to open the menu option
- Now Scroll down to select “Settings”
- Then further Scroll down to select “view advanced settings”
- Under the option of “Website Permission”, users should click on “Manage” options.
- Now Click on switch under for each and every suspicious URL.
For Safari (Mac)
- click on “Safari” On the upper right side corner, select “Preferences”
- Now Go to “website” tab and then you need to choose “Notification” section which is on left pane
- Then Search for all the suspicious URLs and finally choose “Deny” option one by one.
Complete Manual Steps to Remove Citadel Virus
For Windows 7 Users
The first step is to Click on “Start” button ( windows logo at bottom left corner of screen), Now select “Control Panel”. Then Locate the “Programs” and finally click on “Uninstall Program” option.
Windows XP Users
Firstly Click on “Start” and then select on “Settings”.
Now click on “Control Panel”.
Finally Search and click on “Add or Remove Program” option.
Windows 10 and 8 Users
Firstly right click on to the lower left corner of the screen. Under “Quick Access” menu, you need to choose “Control Panel”. This would open a new window, select “Program and Features” to find any suspicious program and remove them.
For Mac OSX Users
users need to Click on “Finder” option. Then select “Application” on new screen which gets opened. Now select “Application” folder and drag the app to “Trash”. Finally right click on the Trash icon and select to click on “Empty Trash” option.
under uninstall programs window, look for any potentially unwanted application. Once found select all the unwanted and suspicious entries. Then finally click on “Uninstall” or “Remove”.
Once all the PUA and adware such as Citadel Virus is uninstalled, it is advised to scan your computer with an anti-malware tool for any remaining PUPs and PUAs which might be hidden. It is recommended to use anti-malware tool to scan PC.
How to Remove Citadel Virus from Internet Browsers
Steps to Delete malicious add-ons and extensions from Internet Explorer
You need to Click on the gear icon which is at the top right corner of Internet Explorer. Now Select “Manage Add-ons”. Search and check for any recently installed plug-ins or add-ons and then click on “Remove” option.
If you are still experiencing issues related to Citadel Virus removal, then you can reset the Internet Explorer to its default setting.
Windows XP users: First of all Press on “Start” and then click “Run”. In the newly opened window, you need to type “inetcpl.cpl” and then click on the “Advanced” tab and now press on “Reset”.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 Users: Press the Windows logo, you need to type ‘inetcpl.cpl’ in the start search box and press enter. This will open a new window, here click on the “Advanced Tab” followed by “Reset” button.
For Windows 8 Users: Double click to Open IE and then click on the “gear” icon. Select and Choose “Internet Options”
“Advanced” tab is to be selected in the new window
now Press and click “Reset” option
“Reset” button is to be presses again to confirm that you really want to reset the IE
How to Remove suspicious and unwanted Extension from Google Chrome
Under menu option of Google Chrome, press on three vertical dots and then select on “More tools” and then “Extensions”. Users need to search for all the recently installed add-ons and remove all of them.
If Citadel Virus still persists or in case if users experience any issue in removing it, then opt to reset the Google Chrome browse settings. Go to three dot points which is at the top right corner and then choose “Settings”. you need to Scroll down bottom and click on “Advanced”.
You can notice the “Reset” option is there at the bottom. Now click on it.
Within then next opened window, one needs to confirm to reset the Google Chrome settings by clicking on the “Reset” button.
Remove Citadel Virus plugins (including all other suspicious plug-ins) from Firefox Mozilla
First of all Open the Firefox browser, under menu you need to select “Add-ons”. Click “Extensions”. Now Select all the recently installed browser plug-ins.
If you experience problems in Citadel Virus removal then reset the settings option in Mozilla Firefox. For this users need to Open the browser (FF) and now click on the “menu” and then click on “Help“.
Now Choose “Troubleshooting Information”
In the newly opened pop-up window, click “Refresh Firefox” button
Now confirm and reset the Mozilla Firefox to its default settings by clicking on “Refresh Firefox” button.
How To Remove Malicious Extension from Safari
In order to accomplish this task, Open Safari browser and then go to its “Menu” and select “Preferences”.
Now Click on the “Extension” and check all the recently installed “Extensions” and then click on “Uninstall” on the selected extension.
Users need to Open the “Safari” and go to menu. Under the drop-down menu, select “Clear History and Website Data”.
within new opened window, you need to select “All History” option and then press on “Clear History” to Delete it.
Delete Citadel Virus add-ons from Microsoft Edge Browser
First of all Open Microsoft Edge and go to three horizontal dot icons at the top right corner of the browser. Select all installed extensions and right click on the mouse to “uninstall”.
Open Microsoft Edge Browser and select “Settings”
Next steps is to click on “Choose what to clear” button
Now select on “show more” and select all and then click on “Clear” button.
Mostly, Potentially Unwanted Program and adware gets inside the marked PC through unsafe freeware downloads. It is advised that you should only select legit website only while downloading any kind of free applications. Now select custom or advanced installation process so that you can trace the additional PUPs listed for installation along with the main program.