Activator.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Activator.exe process is related to a malevolent application that can properly be defined as a coin miner trojan virus. That malware type uses your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, generally – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your computer roughly nonfunctional as a result of high CPU use.
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What is Activator.exe process?

Activator.exe is a malicious process created by coin miner virus

As I have mentioned in the introduction, Activator.exe is a coin miner trojan. The names of the .exe file can be different, but the impacts are generally the identical. Because coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they use all possible hardware power of your desktop to perform this process. This malware does not take note of the fact that you may need to make use of your desktop for other tasks – it will consistently use over 80% of your CPU power.

Activator.exe Windows Process

Activator.exe – Really high CPU as well as GPU use

Besides CPU utilization, some of the coin miners also make use of GPU power for their operations. In that situation, you will struggle also to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is often utilized on 100%. It is not as critical as processor for system work, so Activator.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often may result in sad effects.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic element of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a strong computer is required. Exactly, the graphic card is better for this purpose, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms usually consist of tens and hundreds of GPUs to complete their task efficiently. Such systems are not usable for “normal” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Fraudsters who gain money via this coin miner use someones’ computers instead, even if they are used for the regular activity.2

List of the typical coin miner symptoms

  • Microsoft Defender is stopped;
  • CPU and GPU is loaded at 80-90% exactly after the system start
  • Cooling fans are running at high speed and create a lot of noise
  • A single process in Task Manager consumes all CPU and GPU power
  • How dangerous is the Activator.exe miner?

    Coin miners does not deal damage to your files. However, they make a lot of unpleasant things with the whole system

    Initially, Activator.exe malware makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, since all processor power is consumed by a virus. That malware does not care for your demands, all it pays attention to is generating profits on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until web browser is open, you will likely struggle with extremely sluggish performance. Pages can open for years, any type of logins will take about a minute – just a headache for a person who does a job online.

    Activator.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameActivator.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behavior1.exe, Eml.exe, V4_tool.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Activator.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single bad activity coin miners do to your system. Activator.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your operating system. To execute all malevolent functions effectively, it ruins the protection features of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware halts it to avoid detection. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new notes – they are added by this coin miner to connect your computer to a malicious mining network. All these changes are about to be thrown back to the initial state in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your PC slow, running at peak level for a long period of time can cause damage to your device as well as increase electricity bills. PC components are created to easily get along with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Little and well-protected CPU cooling system is quite hard to crack. Meanwhile, graphic cards have large and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily cracked if touched while working, for instance, by the user much earlier before the coin-miner injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Activator.exe miner can easily lead to graphic processing unit failure3. Graphic cards are also prone to have increased wearing when used for cryptocurrency mining. It is likely a bad case when your GPU’s performance decreases on 20-30% only after several weeks of being exploited in such a way.

    How did I get Activator.exe coin miner virus?

    Coin miners are spread through different ways, but their main sources are malicious banners and programs from dubious sources

    Coin miners are the most common malevolent programs through “serious” malware. Adware often functions as a carrier for Activator.exe malware injection: it demonstrates you the banners, which contain a link to malware downloading. Sure, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics show that around 30% of all viruses spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Activator.exe is right with them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    An additional way you could get this item on your PC is by downloading it from the unreliable web page as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked versions of favored programs (which do not require the license key) have small chances to earn money. Hence, there is a huge lure to add in malware to the final package of the hacked app and receive a coin for every installation. Before blaming these people for hacking and also malware spreading, ask yourself – is it okay to avoid paying for the program in this manner? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much bigger figure for antivirus software and new parts for your desktop.

    How to remove the Activator.exe miner from my PC?

    The best way to get rid of this coin miner virus is to use anti-malware software

    Eliminating such a virus needs the use of specific software. Proper antivirus should have high efficiency at scanning and be lightweight – in order to create no problems with utilization also on weak PCs. On top of that, it is recommended to have proactive protection in your security solution – to prevent the virus even before it starts. Microsoft Defender does not have these elements for various factors. That’s why I’d advise you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that purpose. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a perfect option that fits all of the discussed qualities.5

    Before the malware removal, it is important to reboot your operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Activator.exe miner consumes a lot of processor capacity, it is needed to halt it before launching the security program. Otherwise, your scan will last for years, even though the GridinSoft program is pretty lightweight.

    Booting the PC into Safe Mode with Networking

    Press the Start button, then choose Power, and click on Reboot while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.

    Boot into Windows Safe Mode

    Windows will reboot into recovery mode. In that mode, choose Troubleshoot→ Startup Settings→ Safe Mode with Networking. Press the corresponding button on your keyboard to choose that option.

    windows safe mode boot option with command prompt

    When your PC is in Safe Mode, all third-party apps, along with the majority of non-crucial operating system components, are not started with the system start. That allows you to clean the PC without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Activator.exe coin miner virus with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware. You can use this anti-malware program for free during its 6-day trial period. In that term, all functions are available, and it takes no payments to remove malware from your system.

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware free trial

    After activating your free trial, start Full scan. It may last up to 10 minutes. You may use the PC as usual.

    Scanning in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    When the scan is finished, press the Clean Now button to remove all detected elements from your system. This procedure takes less than a minute.

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware after the scan process

    Now, you are good to go. Reboot your PC into a normal Windows mode and use just as there was nothing malicious.

    Remove Activator.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Activator.exe

    Description: The Activator.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This Activator.exe will create your CPU to go for very warm temperatures for prolonged periods of time, which could reduce the life of the CPU.

    Operating System: Windows

    Application Category: Trojan

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    References

    1. Read about why Monero and DarkCoin are so popular amongst cybercriminals.
    2. Detailed explanation of how does cryptomining work.
    3. About unwanted effects for GPUs in the process of cryptomining.
    4. Read more about various malware type on Cybersecurity Glossary.
    5. Our review on GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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    About the author

    Robert Bailey

    I'm Robert Bailey, a passionate Security Engineer with a deep fascination for all things related to malware, reverse engineering, and white hat ethical hacking.

    As a white hat hacker, I firmly believe in the power of ethical hacking to bolster security measures. By identifying vulnerabilities and providing solutions, I contribute to the proactive defense of digital infrastructures.

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