Public.exe Virus ⛏️ (Coin Miner Trojan) Removal

Written by Robert Bailey
Public.exe executable file comes from a malicious program that can correctly be recognized as a coin miner trojan. That malware form utilizes your hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, generally – Monero or DarkCoin1. It makes your system almost nonfunctional as a result of high CPU use.
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What is Public.exe process?

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

As I have specified previously, Public.exe is a coin miner virus. The names of the .exe file can be different, but the effects are generally the same. Because coin miners aim at cryptocurrency mining, they use all available hardware power of your desktop to conduct this process. This malware does not take note of the fact that you probably need to use your device for other tasks – it will always use over 80% of your processor power.

Public.exe Windows Process

Public.exe – Really high CPU/GPU usage

Besides CPU consumption, some of the coin miners also utilize GPU power for their tasks. In that instance, you will likely struggle even to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is often utilized on 100%. It is not as important as CPU for system work, so Public.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and use it all. It sometimes may lead to sad effects.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining term means the activity of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a integral part of any project based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a very powerful desktop is needed. Exactly, the GPU is better for this task, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms usually consist of tens and hundreds of graphic cards to complete their task efficiently. Such systems are not usable for “usual” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Fraudsters who make profit 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 Public.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, Public.exe virus makes your PC overloaded. It is not able to run your applications anymore, because all processor power is consumed by a malware. 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 suffer from exceptionally sluggish efficiency. Pages can open up for years, any kind of logins will likely take about a minute – just a headache for a person who does a job online.

    Public.exe Technical Summary.

    File NamePublic.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorNottepad.exe, Deadcloud1_build.exe, Omegaengine.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Public.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a solitary negative activity coin miners do to your computer. Public.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your OS. To perform all malevolent operations properly, it ruins the security components 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 load of new notes – they are added by this trojan miner to connect your PC to a malicious cryptomining network. All these adjustments are about to be gone back to the original in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides slowing down your PC, performing at peak level for a long period of time can trigger damage to your device as well as increase electricity expenses. PC components are created to easily get along with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Compact and well-protected CPU fan is not very easy to damage. Meanwhile, graphic cards have large and easy-to-access fans, which can be easily cracked if affected while running, for instance, by the user much earlier before the coin-miner injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the really high load caused by Public.exe can easily lead to graphic processing unit failure3. Video cards are also tend to have increased wearing when utilized for crypto mining. It is surely a bad case when your GPU’s performance decreases on 20-30% only after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get Public.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 malevolent programs among “severe” malware. Adware often serves as a carrier for Public.exe malware infiltration: it shows you the banners, which contain a link to malware downloading. Sure, this abstract “malware” can belong to any type – another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that about 30% of all malware spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Public.exe is right among them.4

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    One more way you could get this item on your computer is by downloading it from the suspicious web page as a part of a program. Users who spread hacked versions of well-known programs (which do not demand the license key) have small chances to get paid. Hence, there is a very big lure to add in malware to the final package of the hacked application and acquire a coin for each installation. Before blaming these guys for hacking and also malware distribution, ask yourself – is it okay to avoid buying the program in this manner? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much greater sum for antivirus software as well as new parts for your desktop.

    How to remove the Public.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 program. Effective anti-malware program must have high capability at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to make no problems with usage also on weak systems. In addition, it is better to have proactive security in your security tool – to halt the virus even before it starts. Microsoft Defender lacks these features for different factors. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that objective. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a perfect option that fits each of the discussed features.5

    Prior to the virus removal, it is important to boot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Public.exe miner consumes a lot of processor capacity, it is required 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 computer is in Safe Mode, all third-party programs, along with the majority of non-crucial operating system components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the computer without dealing with high processor usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Public.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 Public.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Public.exe

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