Protecte.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Protecte.exe executable file is related to a harmful program that can properly be identified as a coin miner trojan. That malware form uses your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, primarily – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your computer roughly unfunctional due to high CPU usage.
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What is Protecte.exe process?

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

As I have actually specified before, Protecte.exe is a coin miner trojan. The names of the .exe file may be different, however, the effects are usually the identical. Since coin miners focus on cryptocurrency mining, they use all available hardware power of your PC to conduct this procedure. This malware does not care about the fact that you probably want to use your machine for other tasks – it will constantly consume over 80% of your CPU power.

Protecte.exe Windows Process

Protecte.exe – Very high CPU as well as GPU usage

Besides CPU usage, some of the coin miners also utilize GPU power for their operations. In that instance, you will probably struggle even to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is often utilized on 100%. It is not as essential as CPU for system work, so Protecte.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and use it all. It sometimes can cause sad consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining is a term that means the activity of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic part of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a very strong computer is needed. Exactly, the video 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 “normal” purposes, like gaming or web browsing. Fraudsters who gain money 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

  • 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 Protecte.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, Protecte.exe virus makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, since all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your needs, all it pays attention to is generating profits on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until web browser is open, you will likely struggle with exceptionally slow efficiency. Pages can open up for years, any type of logins will likely take about a minute – just a horror story for a person that works online.

    Protecte.exe Technical Summary.

    File Name Protecte.exe
    Type Trojan Coin Miner
    Detection Name Trojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution Method Software bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behavior Protecta.exe, Protectn.exe, Dxsetup.exe
    Removal Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Protecte.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single bad thing coin miners do to your PC. Protecte.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your operating system. To perform all malevolent operations effectively, it wrecks the protection components 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 lot of new entries – they are brought in by this coin miner to connect your system to a malicious cryptomining network. All these changes are about to be thrown back to the original in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides decreasing your computer’s performance, performing at peak level for long times can trigger damage to your machine and increase power expenses. Hardware components are designed to easily get along with high load, but they can do so only in case when they are in a good shape.

    Tiny and well-protected processor cooling system is hard to damage. Meanwhile, GPUs have big and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily broke if affected while working, for example, by the user much earlier before the virus injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the extremely high load caused by Protecte.exe virus can easily lead to GPU failure3. Video cards are also prone to have increased wearing when utilized for crypto mining. It is surely a bad case when your GPU’s performance plunges 20-30% just after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Protecte.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 common malicious programs through “serious” malware. Adware often acts as a carrier for Protecte.exe malware infiltration: it shows you the banners, which include a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” can belong to any type – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. However, the statistics show that around 30% of all viruses spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Protecte.exe is right one of them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    One more way you could get this thing on your computer is by downloading it from the dubious website as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked variants of favored programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances to get paid. For this reason, there is a very big temptation to include malware to the final package of the hacked app and acquire a coin for every installation. Before criticizing these individuals for hacking and also malware distribution, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid buying 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 and new parts for your desktop.

    How to remove the Protecte.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 demands the use of specific app. Effective anti-malware program must have high performance at scanning and be lightweight – in order to make no problems with usage also on weak computers. On top of that, it is better to have on-run protection in your security solution – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these functions for different reasons. That’s why I’d advise you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that purpose. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a perfect choice that fits all of the specified qualities.5

    Before the virus removal, it is important to boot your system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Protecte.exe miner takes 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 computer is in Safe Mode, all third-party applications, just like the majority of non-crucial Windows 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 Protecte.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 Protecte.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Protecte.exe

    Description: The Protecte.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This Protecte.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 Cybersecurity Glossary.
    5. Our review on GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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    About the author

    Robert Bailey

    I'm Robert Bailey, a passionate Security Engineer with a deep fascination for all things related to malware, reverse engineering, and white hat ethical hacking.

    As a white hat hacker, I firmly believe in the power of ethical hacking to bolster security measures. By identifying vulnerabilities and providing solutions, I contribute to the proactive defense of digital infrastructures.

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