K.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
K.exe executable file comes from a malevolent program that can correctly be recognized as a coin miner trojan. That malware form uses your PC components to mine cryptocurrencies, generally – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your system almost nonfunctional due to high CPU usage.
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What is K.exe process?

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

As I have specified before, K.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the executive file may be different, but the impacts are almost always the identical. Considering that coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they utilize all available hardware capacity of your PC to conduct this process. This virus does not take note of the fact that you may need to make use of your PC for other tasks – it will constantly consume over 80% of your processor power.

K.exe Windows Process

K.exe – Really high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU utilization, some of the coin miners additionally use GPU power for their operations. In that case, you will probably struggle also to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is usually utilized on 100%. It is not as vital as CPU for system work, so K.exe coin miner viruses do not waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often can result in unhappy consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining is a term that means the activity of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic element of any project based on the blockchain technology. Since this action takes a lot of calculations, a strong machine is needed. Exactly, the graphic card is better for this purpose, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms are usually constructed of tens and hundreds of graphic cards to complete their task efficiently. Such systems are not usable for “general” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Crooks who make profit via this coin miner use someones’ PCs 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 K.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, K.exe malware makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications now, as all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your wants, all it focuses on 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 kind of logins will take about a minute – just a horror story for a person that works online.

    K.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameK.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorKun.exe, Oko.exe, Jin.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic K.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single unpleasant activity coin miners perform to your personal computer. K.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your OS. To perform all malicious functions effectively, it wrecks the security components of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware halts it to prevent recognition. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new entries – they are added by this coin miner to connect your system to a malicious cryptomining network. All these changes are about to be gone back to the original in the process of PC recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your computer slow, performing at peak power for long times can cause damage to your machine as well as raise electricity bills. PC components are designed to easily deal with high load, but they can do so only in case when they are in a good shape.

    Tiny and covered CPU fan is not very easy to broke. Meanwhile, GPUs have large and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily broke if affected while running, for instance, by the user much before the coin-miner injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the very high load caused by K.exe virus can easily lead to graphic processing unit failure3. Video cards are also tend to have increased wearing when utilized for crypto mining. It is likely a bad situation when the performance of your graphic card decreases on 20-30% only after several weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get K.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 prevalent malevolent programs through “major” viruses. Adware sometimes functions as a carrier for K.exe malware injection: it demonstrates you the banners, which have a link to malware downloading. Sure, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – yet another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that about 30% of all viruses spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and K.exe is right one of 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 computer is by downloading it from the dubious site as a part of a program. People who spread hacked variants of popular programs (which do not demand 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 receive a coin for every installation. Before blaming these people for hacking and malware spreading, ask yourself – is it okay to avoid purchasing the program in such a way? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much greater figure for antivirus program and new parts for your computer.

    How to remove the K.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 special program. Proper security tool must have high performance at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to create no problems with utilization also on weak systems. In addition, it is recommended to have on-run protection in your security tool – to halt the virus even before it starts. Microsoft Defender lacks these elements 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 a superb choice that fits all of the mentioned features.5

    Prior to the malware removal, it is important to boot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since K.exe miner takes a lot of processor power, it is required 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 computer is in Safe Mode, all third-party software, just like the majority of non-crucial operating system components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the system without dealing with high processor usage of the coin miner.

    Remove K.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 K.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: K.exe

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