Dark.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Dark.exe executable file belongs to a malevolent application that can correctly be recognized as a coin miner trojan virus. That malware type utilizes your PC components to mine cryptocurrencies, basically – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your computer pretty much unfunctional due to high CPU use.
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What is Dark.exe process?

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

As I have pointed out in the previous paragraph, Dark.exe is a coin miner trojan virus. The names of the executive file can be different, however, the impacts are generally the same. Because coin miners focus on cryptocurrency mining, they use all possible hardware power of your desktop to conduct this procedure. This malware doesn’t pay attention to the fact that you may want to make use of your device for other tasks – it will constantly consume over 80% of your CPU power.

Dark.exe Windows Process

Dark.exe – Very high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU usage, some of the coin miners additionally utilize GPU power for their tasks. In that case, you will struggle even to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is often used on 100%. It is not as essential as CPU for system work, so Dark.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often may result in bad consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining term means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a integral element of any project based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a strong desktop is required. Exactly, the GPU is better for this task, because they have more cores available. Cryptocurrency mining farms are usually constructed of tens and hundreds of video cards to complete their task efficiently. Such computer systems are not usable for “usual” purposes, like gaming or web browsing. Fraudsters 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

  • Your device overheats (system unit/laptop body is very hot)
  • You are not able to open your apps or they are opening for ages
  • Unknown process is running in the background and consumes your PC resources
  • Windows Defender does not respond
  • How dangerous is the Dark.exe miner?

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

    First, Dark.exe virus makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, since all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your necessities, 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 suffer from extremely slow performance. Pages can open up for years, any sort of logins will take about a minute – just a nightmare for a person that does a job online.

    Dark.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameDark.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorData00.vji, Unrealcefsubprocess.exe, 2nd.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Dark.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a solitary unpleasant activity coin miners do to your computer. Dark.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your OS. To conduct all malicious functions properly, it ruins the security mechanisms of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to avoid detection. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new notes – they are added by this trojan miner to connect your system to a malicious mining network. All these adjustments shall be gone back to the initial state in the process of PC recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your computer slow, performing at peak level for long times can trigger damage to your machine as well as increase power bills. 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 processor cooling system is quite hard to damage. Meanwhile, graphic cards have big and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily broke if affected while running, for instance, by the user much earlier before the coin-miner injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Dark.exe malware can easily lead to GPU failure3. GPUs are also tend to have increased wearing when used for crypto mining. It is surely an unwanted situation when your GPU’s performance plunges 20-30% just after several weeks of being exploited in such a way.

    How did I get Dark.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 widespread malevolent programs among “serious” malware. Adware sometimes serves as a carrier for Dark.exe malware infiltration: it demonstrates you the banners, which have a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” can belong to any kind – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that around 30% of all viruses spread through the malicious banners are coin miners – and Dark.exe is just one of them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    Another way you could get this thing on your computer is by downloading it from the dubious site as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked versions of popular programs (which do not require the license key) have small chances to make money. Thus, there is a very big temptation to add in malware to the final package of the hacked application and get a coin for every setup. Prior to blaming these guys for hacking and malware distribution, ask yourself – is it OK to avoid buying the program in such a way? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much bigger sum for antivirus program as well as new parts for your desktop.

    How to remove the Dark.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 demands the use of special software. Proper anti-malware program should have high efficiency at scanning and be lightweight – in order to create no problems with utilization even on weak systems. Additionally, it is recommended to have on-run protection in your protection tool – to stop the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these features for different factors. That’s why I’d recommend you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that reason. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a great option that fits all of the specified characteristics.5

    Prior to the malware removal, it is important to reboot your operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Dark.exe miner consumes a lot of processor capacity, it is required 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-crucial Windows components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the PC without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Dark.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 Dark.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Dark.exe

    Description: The Dark.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This Dark.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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