Psiphon3.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Psiphon3.exe process belongs to a harmful application that can correctly be identified as a coin miner trojan. That malware type uses your PC components to mine cryptocurrencies, primarily – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your personal computer almost nonfunctional because of high CPU utilization.
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What is Psiphon3.exe process?

Psiphon3.exe is a malicious process created by coin miner virus

As I have specified earlier, Psiphon3.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the .exe file may be different, but the effects are usually the same. Considering that coin miners focus on cryptocurrency mining, they use all possible hardware capacity of your desktop to run this process. This virus does not take note of the fact that you may want to make use of your system for other tasks – it will consistently use over 80% of your processor power.

Psiphon3.exe Windows Process

Psiphon3.exe – Very high CPU and GPU usage

Besides CPU consumption, some of the coin miners also use GPU power for their operations. In that case, you will struggle even to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is usually utilized on 100%. It is not as important as processor for system work, so Psiphon3.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often may lead to unhappy consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining term means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic part of any project based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a very strong machine is needed. Exactly, the GPU is better for this task, because they have more cores available. Cryptocurrency mining farms are usually constructed of dozens of graphic cards to conduct their activity effectively. Such computer systems are not usable for “general” purposes, like gaming or web browsing. Fraudsters 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

  • Extremely bad performance
  • CPU/GPU cooler fan creates a lot of noise
  • High temperature of the device (for laptops)
  • 80-90% consumption of CPU/GPU resources by an unknown process
  • Microsoft Defender is not working
  • How dangerous is the Psiphon3.exe miner?

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

    Initially, Psiphon3.exe malware makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, since all processor power is consumed by a malware. That malware does not care for your needs, all it focuses on is making money on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until browser is open, you will likely suffer from incredibly sluggish performance. Pages can open for years, any type of logins will take about a minute – just a headache for a person that does a job online.

    Psiphon3.exe Technical Summary.

    File NamePsiphon3.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorLight.exe, Dark.exe, Ntprint.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Psiphon3.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single negative thing coin miners perform to your system. Psiphon3.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your operating system. To conduct all malicious operations correctly, it wrecks the security mechanisms of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to prevent recognition. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see a ton of new notes – they are added by this coin miner to connect your system to a malicious mining network. All these adjustments shall be reverted to the original in the process of computer recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides slowing down your PC, running at peak power for long times may cause damage to your machine and increase electricity costs. PC elements are created to easily deal with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Tiny and covered CPU fan is hard to damage. Meanwhile, graphic cards have large and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily cracked if touched while working, for example, by the user much earlier before the virus injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the extremely high load caused by Psiphon3.exe miner can easily lead to GPU failure3. Graphic cards are also tend to have increased wearing when utilized for cryptocurrency mining. It is likely an undesirable situation when the performance of your graphic card decreases on 20-30% just after several weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Psiphon3.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 malicious programs through “major” malware. Adware sometimes acts as a carrier for Psiphon3.exe malware infiltration: it demonstrates you the banners, which contain a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – yet another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics show that approximately 30% of all viruses spread through the malicious banners are coin miners – and Psiphon3.exe is just among 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 unreliable site as a part of a program. People that spread hacked versions of popular programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances to earn money. Thus, there is a very big temptation to add malware to the final package of the hacked app and acquire a coin for every installation. Before criticizing these people for hacking and malware distribution, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid buying the program in this manner? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much greater sum for antivirus program and new parts for your computer.

    How to remove the Psiphon3.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 app. Effective antivirus must have high capability at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to create no problems with utilization even on weak systems. On top of that, it is better to have proactive security in your security solution – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender lacks these functions for various reasons. That’s why I’d advise you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that goal. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a perfect option that fits each of the specified qualities.5

    Before the malware removal, it is important to boot your operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Psiphon3.exe miner consumes a lot of processor 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-critical system components, are not started with the system start. That allows you to clean the computer without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Psiphon3.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 Psiphon3.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Psiphon3.exe

    Description: The Psiphon3.exe is a Trojan Coin Miner that uses the infected computer’s sources to mine electronic money without your authorization. This Psiphon3.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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