Posted: December 13, 2012
Threat Metric
Threat Level: 9/10
Infected PCs 5

Skynet Description

Derived from the infamous Zeus banking Trojan, Skynet is a botnet that includes all of the capabilities of Zeus along with other functions, such as Tor-based C&C server anonymity and a Bitcoin mining component. Although Skynet is a recent PC threat, Skynet already has infected an estimate of over ten thousand PCs, all of which are recruited to its botnet for conducting additional attacks. malware researchers recommend that you use anti-malware products of the highest degree of competency to remove Skynet, which is a sophisticated Trojan that doesn't display symptoms while Skynet conducts attacks against bank accounts and other sensitive targets.

The Foul Weather Under Skynet's Cyber Sky

As a variant of Zeus, Skynet is just as dangerous as that banking/backdoor Trojan and even adds its own extra features into the mix. Skynet, which reportedly may have a botnet consisting of up to fifteen thousand infected computers, attacks Windows PCs and uses code injection attacks to hide itself in the memory process of normal Windows applications. malware experts also raised their eyebrows at some of Skynet's automated behavior, including its ability to disable its Bitcoin-mining functions whenever the PC is in use. This prevents PC users from noticing system dysfunctions from Skynet's usage of RAM and other resources. Even Skynet's file names use the names of Windows files (related to svchost.exe or the Internet Explorer browser) as part of its disguise.

However, just like Zeus, Skynet's main threat lies in its ability to compromise bank accounts. malware research team noted that Skynet's Zeus component is capable of the same man-in-the-browser attacks as Zeus, including stealing confidential bank account data and even making requests for additional information (by disguising the requests as notifications from your bank's website). After clearing up any Skynet infection, you should strongly consider changing any passwords linked to financial institutions that may have been stolen. Similarly, unusual transactions from your bank account should be monitored closely.

Setting Up an Umbrella that Skynet's Digital Gloom Can't Pierce

Besides the above risks, Skynet also is capable of launching DDoS attacks and exploiting security vulnerabilities to allow criminals to make other attacks against your PC, itself. Although the real Skynet isn't capable of launching robotic apocalypses a la the fictitious Skynet of Terminator movie fame, malware experts suggest that you treat Skynet as a high-level threat to be removed ASAP.

Skynet can be detected and removed by appropriate anti-malware programs, although they may need to be updated to detect all of Skynet's components. As a Trojan that does possess some degree of anti-virus defenses, Skynet also should be disabled via Safe Mode or other tactics before you begin an anti-malware scan to delete Skynet for good.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to Skynet may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

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Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.

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