Flow.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
The Flow.exe is an executable exe file that belongs to the Flow process which comes along with the Flow Software developed by Conexant Systems software developer. In some cases, the Flow.exe process belongs to a malevolent program that can correctly be identified as a coin miner trojan. That malware form utilizes your PC components to mine cryptocurrencies, basically – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your system roughly nonfunctional because of high CPU utilization.
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What is Flow.exe process?

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

As I have actually pointed out before, Flow.exe is a coin miner trojan. The names of the executive file may be diverse, however, the impacts are generally identical. Considering that coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they utilize all available hardware power of your personal computer to perform this procedure. This virus doesn’t pay attention to the fact that you may need to make use of your system for other tasks – it will constantly use over 80% of your CPU power.

Flow.exe Windows Process

Flow.exe – Extremely high CPU/GPU use

Besides CPU consumption, some of the coin miners also use GPU power for their tasks. In that situation, you will likely struggle even to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is often used on 100%. It is not as crucial as the processor for system work, so Flow.exe coin miner viruses do not waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It sometimes may cause sad effects.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

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

List of the typical coin miner symptoms

  • Extremely bad performance
  • CPU/GPU cooler fan creates a lot of noise
  • High temperature of the device (for laptops)
  • 80-90% consumption of CPU/GPU resources by an unknown process
  • Microsoft Defender is not working
  • How dangerous is the Flow.exe miner?

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

    Firstly, Flow.exe virus makes your PC overloaded. It is unable to run your applications anymore because all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your demands, all it pays attention to is generating income on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until the web browser is open, you will likely struggle with incredibly slow efficiency. Pages will open for years, any kind of logins will likely take about a minute – just a nightmare for a person who works online.

    Flow.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameFlow.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorAuepuf.exe, Cefsharp.browsersubprocess, Wdscore.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Flow.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a single unpleasant thing coin miners perform to your personal computer. Flow.exe coin miner also deals damage to your OS. To complete all malicious functions correctly, wrecks the security features of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to prevent detection. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see a lot of new notes – they are added by this trojan miner to connect your PC to a malicious mining network. All these changes shall be thrown back to the original in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your computer slow, running at peak power for long times may trigger damage to your machine as well as increase power costs. PC elements are designed to easily get along with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Compact and covered CPU fan is not very easy to broke. Meanwhile, GPUs have big and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily broken if touched while spinning, for example, by the user much before the coin-miner injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the extremely high load caused by Flow.exe can easily lead to graphic card failure3. GPUs also tend to have very fast worn when utilized for cryptocurrency mining. It is likely an undesirable case when your GPU’s performance decreases by 20-30% only after several weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Flow.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 common malicious programs through “serious” viruses. Adware often serves as a carrier for Flow.exe malware injection: it demonstrates to you the banners, which have a link to malware downloads. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any type – yet another adware, spyware, rogue, or backdoor. However, the statistics say that approximately 30% of all malware spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Flow.exe is right with them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    One more way you could get this item on your computer is by downloading it from the untrustworthy website 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. For this reason, there is a huge temptation to include malware to the final package of the hacked app and get a coin for each installation. Prior to blaming these guys for hacking and also malware distribution, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid purchasing the program in this manner? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much greater figure for antivirus software and new parts for your computer.

    How to remove the Flow.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 the use of specific software. Effective security tools must have high efficiency at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to make no problems with utilization even on weak PCs. Furthermore, it is recommended to have on-run security in your security tool – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these features for various factors. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that objective. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a perfect choice that fits each of the mentioned qualities.5

    Before the virus removal, it is important to boot your system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Flow.exe miner takes a lot of CPU 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 apps, just like the majority of non-critical system components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the PC without dealing with the high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Flow.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 Flow.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Flow.exe

    Description: The Flow.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This Flow.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 crypto mining work.
    3. About unwanted effects for GPUs in the process of crypto mining.
    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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