-agent.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
-agent.exe process belongs to a malevolent application that can accurately be defined as a coin miner trojan. That malware type utilizes your PC components to mine cryptocurrencies, generally – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your system roughly nonfunctional because of high CPU use.
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What is -agent.exe process?

-agent.exe is a malicious process created by coin miner virus

As I have actually mentioned in the introduction, -agent.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the .exe file may be different, but the effects are usually the identical. Since coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they use all available hardware power of your PC to run this procedure. This malware doesn’t care about the fact that you probably need to use your device for other activities – it will continuously consume over 80% of your CPU power.

-agent.exe Windows Process

-agent.exe – Very high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU consumption, some of the coin miners also utilize GPU power for their tasks. In that instance, you will probably struggle also to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is usually utilized on 100%. It is not as crucial as processor for system work, so -agent.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and use it all. It often may cause unhappy results.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining term means the operation of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic part of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a very strong PC is required. Exactly, the GPU is better for this purpose, because they have more cores available. Cryptocurrency mining farms usually consist of dozens of GPUs to complete their task efficiently. Such systems are not usable for “usual” purposes, like gaming or web browsing. Crooks who make profit via this coin miner use someones’ hardware 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 -agent.exe miner?

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

    First of all, -agent.exe malware makes your computer overloaded. It is unable to run your applications anymore, since all processor power is consumed by a malware. That malware does not care for your demands, all it focuses on is generating income on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until browser is open, you will likely suffer from incredibly sluggish performance. Pages can open up for years, any type of logins will take about a minute – just a horror story for a person who works online.

    -agent.exe Technical Summary.

    File Name-agent.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorSetpoint.exe, Cthkctrl.exe, Updreg.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic -agent.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a solitary bad thing coin miners perform to your personal computer. -agent.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your OS. To complete all malicious operations successfully, it wrecks the security mechanisms 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 load of new notes – they are brought in by this trojan miner to connect your PC to a malicious cryptomining network. All these changes shall be gone back to the initial state in the process of computer recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides slowing down your PC, running at peak power for a long period of time can trigger damage to your machine as well as raise power costs. PC elements are created to easily get along with high load, but they are good with it only in case when they are in a good shape.

    Compact and covered CPU fan is hard to broke. Meanwhile, GPUs have large and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily broke if touched while working, for instance, by the user much before the virus injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the very high load caused by -agent.exe malware can easily lead to graphic card failure3. GPUs are also tend to have fast wearing when used for cryptocurrency mining. It is likely a bad case when your GPU’s performance plunges 20-30% just after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get -agent.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 one of the most prevalent malicious programs among “serious” malware. Adware frequently serves as a carrier for -agent.exe malware infiltration: it shows you the banners, which contain a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any type – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that about 30% of all malware spread with the malevolent banners are coin miners – and -agent.exe is right one of them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    One more way you could get this thing on your PC is by downloading it from the unreliable site as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked variants of popular programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances to make money. For this reason, there is a huge lure to add malware to the final package of the hacked app and receive a coin for every setup. Before criticizing these guys for hacking and malware spreading, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid buying the program in this manner? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much bigger sum for antivirus software and new parts for your PC.

    How to remove the -agent.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 involves using special app. Effective security tool must have high capability at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to make no problems with usage even on weak PCs. On top of that, it is better to have proactive security in your protection tool – to stop the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender lacks these functions for different reasons. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that purpose. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is an ideal option that fits all of the discussed features.5

    Prior to the virus removal, it is important to boot your operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since -agent.exe miner consumes a lot of processor power, it is needed to stop 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 computer is in Safe Mode, all third-party applications, just like the majority of non-critical system components, are not started with the system start. That allows you to clean the computer without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove -agent.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 -agent.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: -agent.exe

    Description: The -agent.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This -agent.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 GridinSoft Threat Encyclopedia.
    5. Our review on GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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    About the author

    Robert Bailey

    Security Engineer. Interested in malware, reverse engineering, white ethical hacking. I like coding, travelling and bikes.

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