Pnkbstra.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Pnkbstra.exe process belongs to a malevolent program that can properly be defined as a coin miner trojan virus. That malware type uses your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, basically – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your computer almost unusable because of high CPU usage.
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What is Pnkbstra.exe process?

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

As I have actually pointed out previously, Pnkbstra.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the executive file may be different, however, the impacts are almost always the same. Considering that coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they use all available hardware power of your personal computer to run this process. This virus does not take note of the fact that you probably need to use your machine for other tasks – it will always use over 80% of your processor power.

Pnkbstra.exe Windows Process

Pnkbstra.exe – Really high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU usage, some of the coin miners additionally utilize GPU power for their operations. In that case, you will likely struggle also to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is usually used on 100%. It is not as vital as CPU for system work, so Pnkbstra.exe coin miner viruses do not waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often can lead to unhappy consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining term 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 PC is required. Exactly, the video 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 conduct their activity effectively. Such systems are not usable for “normal” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. 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 Pnkbstra.exe miner?

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

    Firstly, Pnkbstra.exe malware makes your computer overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, since all CPU power is consumed 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 browser is open, you will likely struggle with exceptionally sluggish performance. Pages can open for years, any type of logins will take about a minute – just a horror story for a person who does a job online.

    Pnkbstra.exe Technical Summary.

    File NamePnkbstra.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorFluorosulfonic.exe, Bvhost.exe, Mingc.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Pnkbstra.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a single negative thing coin miners perform to your PC. Pnkbstra.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your operating system. To execute all malevolent functions correctly, it wrecks the security features of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to avoid recognition. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new notes – they are added by this trojan miner to connect your PC to a malicious cryptomining network. All these adjustments shall be reverted to the initial state in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your computer slow, performing at peak power for long times can trigger damage to your device as well as raise power costs. Hardware elements are designed to easily get along with high load, but they can do so only when they are in a good shape.

    Little and well-protected CPU cooling system is quite hard to broke. Meanwhile, GPUs have large and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily cracked if affected while spinning, for example, by the user much earlier before the virus injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Pnkbstra.exe malware can easily lead to graphic card failure3. Graphic cards are also tend to have increased wearing when utilized 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 Pnkbstra.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 malicious programs through “major” viruses. Adware often functions as a carrier for Pnkbstra.exe malware infiltration: it shows you the banners, which have a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics show that approximately 30% of all malware spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Pnkbstra.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 PC is by downloading it from the suspicious website 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. Hence, there is a huge lure to add in malware to the final package of the hacked app and receive a coin for each installation. Prior to blaming these individuals for hacking and also malware distribution, ask yourself – is it OK to avoid paying for the program in such a way? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much bigger figure for antivirus program and new parts for your desktop.

    How to remove the Pnkbstra.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 needs the use of specific program. Proper antivirus must have high capability at scanning and be lightweight – in order to make no problems with utilization also on weak systems. Furthermore, it is recommended to have proactive protection in your protection solution – to halt the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these elements for different factors. That’s why I’d advise you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that reason. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is an ideal choice that fits all of the specified features.5

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

    Remove Pnkbstra.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 Pnkbstra.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Pnkbstra.exe

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