Written by Robert Bailey
If you spectate the alert of Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL detection, it seems that your computer has a problem. All malicious programs are dangerous, without any deviations. SmokeLoader provides the criminals access to your system, or even connects it to the botnet.
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Any type of malware exists with the only target – make money on you1. And the developers of these things are not thinking about ethicality – they use all available tactics. Stealing your private data, getting the payments for the advertisements you watch for them, utilizing your system components to mine cryptocurrencies – that is not the complete list of what they do. Do you want to be a riding horse? That is a rhetorical question.

What does the notification with Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL detection mean?

The Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL detection you can see in the lower right corner is displayed to you by Microsoft Defender. That anti-malware program is pretty good at scanning, however, prone to be generally unreliable. It is vulnerable to malware attacks, it has a glitchy user interface and bugged malware removal capabilities. Hence, the pop-up which states about the SmokeLoader is just a notification that Defender has found it. To remove it, you will likely need to use another anti-malware program.

Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL found

Microsoft Defender: “Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL”

The exact Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL malware is a really nasty thing. This malware is created to be a stealthy intruder, which works as a remote-access tool. When you give someone remote access willingly, it is alright, however, SmokeLoader will not ask you if you wish to grant it. After connecting to your PC, crooks are able to do whatever they want – getting your files, reading your messages, collecting personal information, et cetera. Backdoors commonly bring an additional stealer – the virus that is made to collect all possible information about you. Nevertheless, far more common use of the backdoors is establishing the botnet. Then, the network of attacked systems may be used to conduct DDoS attacks or to inflate the poll results on various sites.

Backdoor Summary:

NameSmokeLoader Backdoor
DamageGain access to the operating system to perform various malicious actions.
SimilarMsil Androme, Lotok, Quasarrat, Asyncrat, Smokeloader, Msil Dcrat, Rewritehttp, Msil Darkcommet
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by SmokeLoader backdoor

Properties of Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL

Smokeloader.YL actions
  • Executable code extraction. Cybercriminals often use binary packers to hinder the malicious code from reverse-engineered by malware analysts. A packer is a tool that compresses, encrypts, and modifies a malicious file’s format. Sometimes packers can be used for legitimate ends, for example, to protect a program against cracking or copying.
  • Injection (inter-process);
  • Injection (Process Hollowing);
  • Creates RWX memory. There is a security trick with memory regions that allows an attacker to fill a buffer with a shellcode and then execute it. Filling a buffer with shellcode isn’t a big deal, it’s just data. The problem arises when the attacker is able to control the instruction pointer (EIP), usually by corrupting a function’s stack frame using a stack-based buffer overflow, and then changing the flow of execution by assigning this pointer to the address of the shellcode.
  • A process attempted to delay the analysis task.;
  • Attempts to connect to a dead IP:Port (13 unique times);
  • Starts servers listening on;
  • Reads data out of its own binary image. The trick that allows the malware to read data out of your computer’s memory.

    Everything you run, type, or click on your computer goes through the memory. This includes passwords, bank account numbers, emails, and other confidential information. With this vulnerability, there is the potential for a malicious program to read that data.

  • A process created a hidden window;
  • Performs some HTTP requests;
  • Uses Windows utilities for basic functionality;
  • Enumerates services, possibly for anti-virtualization;
  • Executed a process and injected code into it, probably while unpacking;
  • Creates or sets a registry key to a long series of bytes, possibly to store a binary or malware config;
  • Installs itself for autorun at Windows startup.

    There is simple tactic using the Windows startup folder located at:
    C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\StartMenu\Programs\Startup Shortcut links (.lnk extension) placed in this folder will cause Windows to launch the application each time [user-name] logs into Windows.

    The registry run keys perform the same action, and can be located in different locations:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • A possible cryptomining command was executed;
  • Attempts to interact with an Alternate Data Stream (ADS);
  • Anomalous binary characteristics. This is a way of hiding virus’ code from antiviruses and virus’ analysts.
Other names of Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL
Elasticmalicious (high confidence)
CynetMalicious (score: 100)
RisingTrojan.Kryptik!1.BCEB (CLASSIC)
InvinceaML/PE-A + Mal/Elenoocka-G
EmsisoftTrojan.Mint.Zamg.Q (B)
MAXmalware (ai score=87)
ESET-NOD32a variant of Win32/Kryptik.GSHH
SentinelOneStatic AI – Malicious PE
CrowdStrikewin/malicious_confidence_100% (D)
Shortly about backdoors

Backdoors are viruses that can obtain both separated and incorporated shapes. One time you may find that a legit program from a well-known company has a functionality that enables someone to connect to your system. Will it be somebody from the creators or a 3rd party – no one knows. However, the scandal when this feature is identified in a legitimate program is pretty much impossible to miss. There is additionally chatter that there is a hardware-based backdoor in Intel CPUs2.

Is Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL dangerous?

As I have actually mentioned previously, non-harmful malware does not exist. And Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL is not an exception. This backdoor does not deal a lot of harm just after it launches. However, it will be a very bad surprise when an occasional online forum or website in the Web will not let you in, due to the fact that your IP-address is banned after the DDoS attack. However, even if it is not important for you – is it positive at all to know that somebody can easily access your computer, check out your conversations, open your documents, and spectate what you do?

The spyware that is frequently present as a supplement to the Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL virus will likely be just one more reason to remove it as fast as you can. Nowadays, when users’ information is priced exceptionally high, it is too illogical to provide the burglars such an opportunity. Even worse if the spyware will somehow handle to thieve your financial information. Seeing zeros on your financial account is the most awful headache, in my judgement.

How did I get this virus?

It is hard to trace the sources of malware on your PC. Nowadays, things are mixed up, and distribution ways chosen by adware 5 years ago can be utilized by spyware these days. But if we abstract from the exact spreading way and will think of why it has success, the answer will be very simple – low level of cybersecurity knowledge. Individuals click on advertisements on strange sites, click the pop-ups they receive in their browsers, call the “Microsoft tech support” assuming that the odd banner that states about malware is true. It is necessary to understand what is legitimate – to avoid misunderstandings when attempting to identify a virus.

Microsoft Tech Support Scam

Microsoft Tech Support Scam

Nowadays, there are two of the most common ways of malware spreading – lure emails and also injection into a hacked program. While the first one is not so easy to stay away from – you must know a lot to understand a counterfeit – the 2nd one is simple to address: just do not utilize hacked programs. Torrent-trackers and other sources of “totally free” applications (which are, exactly, paid, but with a disabled license checking) are just a giveaway point of malware. And Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL is simply among them.

How to remove the Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL from my PC?

Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.YL malware is incredibly hard to remove by hand. It puts its documents in several locations throughout the disk, and can get back itself from one of the parts. Furthermore, a range of modifications in the registry, networking setups and Group Policies are pretty hard to discover and change to the original. It is better to make use of a specific tool – exactly, an anti-malware program. GridinSoft Anti-Malware will fit the best for malware removal goals.

Why GridinSoft Anti-Malware? It is pretty lightweight and has its detection databases updated just about every hour. In addition, it does not have such bugs and vulnerabilities as Microsoft Defender does. The combination of these details makes GridinSoft Anti-Malware ideal for eliminating malware of any type.

Remove the viruses with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

  • Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware. After the installation, you will be offered to perform the Standard Scan. Approve this action.
  • Gridinsoft Anti-Malware during the scan process

  • Standard scan checks the logical disk where the system files are stored, together with the files of programs you have already installed. The scan lasts up to 6 minutes.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware scan results

  • When the scan is over, you may choose the action for each detected virus. For all files of SmokeLoader the default option is “Delete”. Press “Apply” to finish the malware removal.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware - After Cleaning
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  1. Read about malware types on GridinSoft Threat encyclopedia.
  2. Gossip about the backdoor in Intel processors on Reddit.

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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