Prime.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Prime.exe executable file is related to a malicious program that can correctly be identified as a coin miner trojan. That malware type uses your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, basically – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your system almost nonfunctional because of high CPU use.
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What is Prime.exe process?

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

As I have mentioned before, Prime.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the executive file may be diverse, but the impacts are generally the identical. Since coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they utilize all available hardware capacity of your PC to perform this process. This virus does not take note of the fact that you probably want to use your system for other activities – it will constantly take over 80% of your CPU power.

Prime.exe Windows Process

Prime.exe – Really high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU consumption, some of the coin miners also use GPU power for their tasks. In that case, you will likely struggle also to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is usually utilized on 100%. It is not as crucial as CPU for system work, so Prime.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and use all of it. It sometimes may result in unhappy results.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining is a term that means the activity of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a integral element of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this action takes a lot of calculations, a high-end desktop is needed. Exactly, the graphic card is better for this purpose, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms usually consist of dozens of graphic cards to conduct their activity effectively. Such systems are not usable for “general” 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

  • 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 Prime.exe miner?

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

    Firstly, Prime.exe malware makes your system overloaded. It is not able to run your applications now, since all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your necessities, all it pays attention to is making money on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until browser is open, you will likely experience exceptionally slow performance. Pages can open up for years, any kind of logins will likely take about a minute – just a headache for a person that works online.

    Prime.exe Technical Summary.

    File NamePrime.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorFilam.exe, Protecte.exe, Protecta.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Prime.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a solitary bad activity coin miners do to your system. Prime.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your operating system. To carry out all malicious operations correctly, it wrecks the protection features of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware halts it to prevent recognition. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see a number of new entries – they are brought in by this coin miner to connect your computer to a malicious mining network. All these changes are about to be thrown back to the original in the process of PC recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides decreasing your system’s performance, running at peak power for a long period of time can cause damage to your machine as well as increase electricity costs. Hardware elements are created to easily deal with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Small and well-protected CPU cooling system is quite hard to crack. 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 before the malware injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Prime.exe can easily lead to GPU failure3. Graphic cards are also prone to have increased wearing when used for crypto mining. It is surely a bad case when the performance of your video card plunges 20-30% only after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Prime.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 among “major” malware. Adware often serves as a carrier for Prime.exe malware injection: it shows you the banners, which include a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that about 30% of all malware spread through the malevolent banners are coin miners – and Prime.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 PC is by downloading it from the untrustworthy site as a part of a program. People who spread hacked variants of popular programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances to earn money. Hence, there is a huge lure to include malware to the final package of the hacked app and receive a coin for every setup. Before blaming these guys for hacking and malware spreading, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid purchasing the program in this manner? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much bigger figure for antivirus software and new parts for your computer.

    How to remove the Prime.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 special software. Effective antivirus should have high performance at scanning and be lightweight – in order to make no problems with utilization also on weak computers. Additionally, it is recommended to have proactive security in your security tool – to stop the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender lacks these elements for various reasons. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that reason. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a great option that fits each of the mentioned features.5

    Prior to the virus removal, it is important to boot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Prime.exe miner takes a lot of CPU power, 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 system is in Safe Mode, all third-party software, along with the majority of non-crucial system components, are not started with the system start. That gives you the ability to clean the computer without dealing with high processor usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Prime.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 Prime.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Prime.exe

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