UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe – Coin Miner Virus or Unreal Engine Process?

Written by Robert Bailey
UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe is a legitimate executable file associated with the Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is a popular game development platform developed by Epic Games. The engine is used by game developers to create high-quality, interactive games for various platforms.

UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe is a subprocess that is part of the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) integration within the Unreal Engine. The CEF is an open-source framework based on the Chromium project, which provides a way to embed web browser capabilities into applications.

In the context of Unreal Engine, UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe is responsible for rendering and displaying web content within the engine. It is used for various purposes, such as integrating web-based UI elements, displaying in-game web pages or advertisements, and supporting online features in games.

It’s worth noting that executable file names can be manipulated by malware to masquerade as legitimate processes. Therefore, if you have concerns about UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe on your system, it’s recommended to verify its authenticity by checking its location (usually within the Unreal Engine installation directory) and scanning it with reputable antivirus software to ensure it is not a malicious file.

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What is Unrealcefsubprocess.exe process?

It is possible for malicious actors to abuse the UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe process for cryptojacking

Since UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe is a legitimate process associated with the Unreal Engine, it can be targeted by attackers who modify or replace the original executable with a malicious version. In such cases, the modified UnrealCEFSubProcess.exe process would run in the background and utilize the computer’s processing power and resources to mine cryptocurrencies for the benefit of the attacker.

To avoid falling victim to such malware, it is crucial to ensure that your system is protected with up-to-date antivirus software and that you only download software or executable files from trusted sources. Regularly scanning your system for malware and keeping all software, including the Unreal Engine, updated with the latest security patches can also help mitigate the risk of unauthorized cryptocurrency mining or other malicious activities.

Unrealcefsubprocess.exe Windows Process

Unrealcefsubprocess.exe – Very high CPU and GPU use

Besides CPU utilization, some of the coin miners also make use of GPU power for their tasks. In that case, you will probably struggle even to see the mouse cursor moving – GPU is often used on 100%. It is not as important as processor for system work, so Unrealcefsubprocess.exe coin miner viruses don’t waste time on trifles and use it all. It sometimes may cause unhappy consequences.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining is a term that means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic element of anything based on the blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a strong PC is required. Exactly, the video card is better for this purpose, because they have more cores available. Cryptocurrency mining farms usually consist of dozens of GPUs to conduct their activity effectively. Such computer systems are not usable for “normal” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Fraudsters who gain money via this coin miner use someones’ hardware instead, even if they are used for the regular activity.1

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 Unrealcefsubprocess.exe miner?

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

    First, Unrealcefsubprocess.exe malware makes your PC overloaded. It is unable to run your applications anymore, as all CPU power is used by a virus. That malware does not care for your wants, all it focuses on is making money on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until web browser is open, you will likely struggle with incredibly slow performance. Pages will open up for years, any type of logins will take about a minute – just a nightmare for a person who does a job online.

    Unrealcefsubprocess.exe Technical Summary.

    File Name Unrealcefsubprocess.exe
    Type Trojan Coin Miner
    Detection Name Trojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution Method Software bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behavior 2nd.exe, Adeploy.exe, Archiver.exe
    Removal Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Unrealcefsubprocess.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a single unpleasant thing coin miners do to your computer. Unrealcefsubprocess.exe coin miner additionally deals damage to your OS. To perform all malevolent functions correctly, it ruins the protection features of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to avoid recognition. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see a number of new entries – they are added by this coin miner to connect your system to a malicious mining network. All these adjustments are about to be thrown back to the initial state in the process of system recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides slowing down your PC, performing at peak power for a long period of time can cause damage to your device as well as raise power expenses. Hardware elements are designed to easily get along with high load, but they are good with it only when they are in a good shape.

    Compact and covered processor fan is hard to damage. Meanwhile, GPUs have large and easy-to-access cooling fans. You can accidentally damage them by touching them while they’re running. Such a pity occasion may happen much before the malware injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the unusually high load caused by Unrealcefsubprocess.exe miner can easily lead to graphic processing unit failure2. Graphic cards are also tend to have increased wearing when utilized for crypto mining. It is likely an unwanted situation when your GPU’s performance plunges 20-30% just after 1-2 weeks of being exploited in such a way.

    How did I get Unrealcefsubprocess.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 among “severe” viruses. Adware frequently serves as a carrier for Unrealcefsubprocess.exe malware infiltration: it demonstrates you the banners, which include a link to malware downloading. Sure, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – an additional adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that approximately 30% of all malware spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Unrealcefsubprocess.exe is just with them.3

    Adware Unrealcefsubprocess.exe spreading

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    One more way you could get this thing on your PC is by downloading it from the dubious website as a part of a program. People that spread hacked variants of favored programs (which do not demand the license key) have small chances to make money. Therefore, there is a huge lure to include malware to the final package of the hacked app and acquire a coin for each installation. Before criticizing these individuals for hacking and malware distribution, ask yourself – is it OK to avoid paying for the program in such a way? It is much cheaper to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much greater sum for antivirus software as well as new parts for your computer.

    How to remove the Unrealcefsubprocess.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 software. Effective security tool must have high capability at scanning and also be lightweight – in order to make no problems with usage even on weak computers. Additionally, it is recommended to have proactive security in your security tool – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these elements for various reasons. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that goal. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a superb choice that fits each of the mentioned features.4

    Before the malware removal, it is important to reboot your operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Unrealcefsubprocess.exe miner takes a lot of CPU power, 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 PC is in Safe Mode, all third-party programs, along with the majority of non-critical operating system components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the computer without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Unrealcefsubprocess.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.

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    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 Unrealcefsubprocess.exe removal process

    Now, you are good to go. Reboot your PC into a normal Windows mode and use just as there was nothing malicious.

    Remove Unrealcefsubprocess.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Unrealcefsubprocess.exe

    Description: The Unrealcefsubprocess.exe is a process that belongs to the files of Unreal Engine. It is responsible for Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) integration in this game engine. However, malicious programs, particularly coin miner trojans, may hijack this name in order to conceal themselves among other processes.

    Operating System: Windows

    Application Category: Trojan

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    References

    1. Detailed explanation of how does cryptomining work.
    2. About unwanted effects for GPUs in the process of cryptomining.
    3. Read more about various malware type on Cybersecurity Glossary.
    4. 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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