Ntoskrnl.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Ntoskrnl.exe executable file is related to a malevolent program that can correctly be identified as a coin miner virus. That malware type uses your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, generally – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your personal computer pretty much nonfunctional as a result of high CPU use.
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What is Ntoskrnl.exe process?

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

As I have mentioned in the previous paragraph, Ntoskrnl.exe is a coin miner trojan virus. The names of the executive file can be diverse, however, the impacts are almost always the identical. Considering that coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they use all available hardware power of your desktop to run this procedure. This virus doesn’t take note of the fact that you may want to use your computer for other tasks – it will continuously consume over 80% of your CPU power.

Ntoskrnl.exe Windows Process

Ntoskrnl.exe – Extremely high CPU as well as GPU usage

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

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining term means the activity of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic element of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this action takes a lot of calculations, a very strong computer is needed. Exactly, the graphic card is better for this task, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms usually consist of tens and hundreds of video cards to complete their task efficiently. Such systems are not usable for “classic” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Crooks who gain money 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 Ntoskrnl.exe miner?

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

    Initially, Ntoskrnl.exe virus makes your PC overloaded. It is unable to run your applications anymore, since all processor power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your needs, all it focuses on is generating income on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until web browser is open, you will likely struggle with extremely sluggish performance. Pages will open up for years, any sort of logins will likely take about a minute – just a horror story for a person who works online.

    Ntoskrnl.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameNtoskrnl.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorSvhost.exe, Zx.exe, Instnm.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Ntoskrnl.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single unpleasant thing coin miners do to your system. Ntoskrnl.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your OS. To perform all malevolent functions correctly, it ruins the security mechanisms of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to prevent detection. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new notes – they are brought in by this coin miner to connect your PC to a malicious mining network. All these adjustments shall be thrown back to the initial state in the process of computer recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides decreasing your PC’s performance, running at peak level for a long period of time can trigger damage to your machine as well as increase electricity costs. PC components are designed to easily deal with high load, but they can do so only when they are in a good shape.

    Tiny and well-protected processor fan is not very easy to crack. Meanwhile, GPUs have big and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily broke if affected while spinning, for example, by the user much before the malware injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Ntoskrnl.exe miner can easily lead to graphic card failure3. Graphic cards are also tend to have increased wearing when used for cryptocurrency mining. It is surely an unwanted situation when your GPU’s performance decreases on 20-30% just after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Ntoskrnl.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 malevolent programs through “severe” viruses. Adware frequently functions as a carrier for Ntoskrnl.exe malware infiltration: it demonstrates you the banners, which include a link to malware downloading. Sure, this abstract “malware” may belong to any type – another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. However, the statistics show that about 30% of all malware spread through the malicious banners are coin miners – and Ntoskrnl.exe is just 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 thing on your computer is by downloading it from the unreliable website as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked variants of well-known programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances to earn money. Hence, there is a very big lure to add in malware to the final package of the hacked application and receive a coin for every setup. Prior to blaming these people for hacking and malware distribution, ask yourself – is it okay to avoid purchasing the program in such a way? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much bigger figure for antivirus program as well as new parts for your desktop.

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

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

    Removing such a virus involves making use of specific tool. Proper antivirus must have high performance at scanning and be lightweight – in order to make no problems with utilization even on weak computers. Additionally, it is recommended to have on-run protection in your security tool – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these elements for various reasons. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that objective. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a superb choice that fits all of the discussed characteristics.5

    Prior to the virus removal, it is important to reboot your system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Ntoskrnl.exe miner takes a lot of CPU capacity, 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 PC is in Safe Mode, all third-party apps, just like the majority of non-critical operating system components, are not started with the system start. That gives you the ability to clean the PC without dealing with high processor usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Ntoskrnl.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 Ntoskrnl.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Ntoskrnl.exe

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