Perhaps you’ve just used your security software to scan for malware and remove it from your Windows 10 PC. You are now pretty confident that you have finally achieved victory over these types of files that might have been on the machine for a long, long time. We advise you to be cautious in victory. You see, the battle never stops. No sooner than one popular virus has been busted by anti-malware technology than another more nefarious threat rises up to take its place.
As technology advances, so does malware tech. It makes sense since some of the tools of the security trade are available to internet criminals as well. They are smart enough to create files that flummox many anti-malware programs, for one thing. And they are only getting bolder and more outlandish in their creations.
If you’re wondering what the next frontier of computer infection will be, you don’t need to wonder: it is already here. Enter, bot malware and one of its poster children — Dosrute.
What Is Dosrute Malware?
If you’re reading this, you must have come across the Dosrute malware, perhaps on your PC. Now you might be wondering what it is and what you can do about it. We are here to tell you that Dosrute isn’t your conventional malware. It is the culmination of the fears of many security experts at what can happen when bot technology is deployed by online criminals.
Dosrute is best thought of as a means through which cybercriminals can seize complete control of your PC. If you’re familiar with remote system administration, you should have an idea of what is going on with Dosrute. However, while a remote administrator controls your computer with your express or implied permission, those who deploy Dosrute have no such qualms.
The moment Dosrute gets installed on your machine, you can say goodbye to any semblance of total control you have over the device. Dosrute can and generally will start showing you different sorts of unfamiliar messages. It can perform remote tasks on your system. Basically, anything the hacker programs it to do, it will do so. Whether it is to transmit your personal information, scramble your files, corrupt your hard drive, or crash the system, anything can happen with this malware. In fact, the unpredictability of Dosrute is why it is hard to create a uniform security response to this threat.
The horror doesn’t end there. Dosrute can be remotely deployed to commit click fraud through your computer. Imagine the anti-graft agencies knocking on your doorstep in connection with online transactions you actually know nothing about. How about disruptions to your routine activities, such as locking your email or disabling your access to the internet? Dosrute is capable of all these and more.
Little wonder its creators target thousands of computers with this malware at the same time. Obviously, if you were politely asked to install an infectious program like Dosrute, you would decline, and not so politely. Therefore, hackers have developed creative ways to get the virus onto victims’ computers. Sometimes, Windows users inadvertently install the virus by themselves by downloading or simply clicking an email attachment. Downloading software from shady websites and clicking pop-up links and other clickbaity items like that are other avenues through which Dosrute secures access to the computers of unsuspecting users.
We mentioned earlier that Dosrute is bot malware. This means it can perform autonomous tasks based on pre-programmed parameters. There are different tiers of this malware. The more complex strains modify your personal information, remotely access other computers in a network, and use your machine as an outlet to carry out online theft. They can even use your own PC as a base to launch attacks on vulnerable devices connected to the internet.
What makes this malware even scarier is that the danger it creates is in inverse proportion with the footprint it leaves. In other words, it is not easy to detect and isolate Dosrute on a host computer. At variance with the amount of damage it can do, it actually uses minimal computing power. So, if you open Task Manager in search of suspicious programs, it might just slip under the radar.
And when you finally get tired of manual searching and turn to a cybersecurity program for help, some types of the Dosrute malware will be ready for this move. They will change their behavior to escape detection by security software. Often, their camouflage works. Even now, new Dosrute malware is being designed in response to renewed efforts to rein it in.
Another feature of the Dosrute malware is the unpredictable nature of its time of attack. Unlike many other malware entities, Dosrute doesn’t necessarily spring into action the minute it lands on a victim’s machine. Rather, it sleeps and grows under the radar until the botmaster gives it the green light to make a move.
Is Dosrute Harmful?
Yes, well, rhetorical questions need to be asked sometimes. Dosrute is not just harmful: it is a harmful bot, which makes it twice as dangerous than if it were just some basic malware.
Internet robots are called spiders and crawlers for a reason. If you know how spiders weave their webs all over the place, you will get the idea. Online bots actually have a lot of benign use in technology. They can be used to automate tasks, schedules and data requests in online messengers, for example.
It wasn’t long before they were turned into malware to control a system and fetch information for hackers to use for illicit reasons. These malicious robots can even reproduce, spawning children who just multiply the danger on infected systems. Bots are typically connected to a central server managed by a group of cybercriminals. The data fetched by the bots are aggregated and used collectively to commit a crime.
Here is a snapshot of the kinds of things bot malware such as Dosrute can do:
Trigger distributed denial-of-service attacks
Create a backdoor on the machine for other malware to enter
Automatically analyze applications and programs and send the information
Automatically crack simple protection algorithms, making the system vulnerable to data theft
Perform keylogging to steal PINs and passwords
Automatically collect passwords saved on the machine
Steal credit card and other financial information from the computer
When Dosrute is deployed simultaneously to infect millions of machines at once, the complicated web of connections linking the respective botware on infected computers is known as a botnet.
Sources of the Dosrute Botware
There are a thousand and one ways through which malware can get on your computer. Below, we have explained the most common methods of Dosrute infection. By learning the tactics of botware creators, you will be in a better position to prevent future infections.
- Software downloads. It is hard to resist free software when you find it. After all, some of the most useful programs you might be in need of actually cost a fair few quid. Even so, you should stump up the money for the service if you can. The urge to sneakily download free versions from shady corners of the internet is preyed upon by makers of bot malware. Some of the programs being offered for free are packaged with Dosrute. Once you install these programs, the companion botware is installed as well.
- Clicking links and attachments in unsolicited emails. There is a saying that curiosity kills the cat. It can also end up killing your privacy, your data, and even your computer. When you receive a suspicious email from an unknown source, you should immediately place it where it belongs: the bin. The online hackers bet that many users will act on their natural curiosity and click the misleading link or attachment. This is how malware often gains control of the user’s system.
- Removable media devices. If you insert a removable media device such as a USB stick that hasn’t been scanned for malware, you’re just asking for trouble. Infected flash drives are a popular way for botware to corrupt computers. Flash safety is not a priority in some regions. Some lower-quality flash drives and memory cards are plainly walking virus carriers.
- Autonomous infection. Botware can be programmed to automatically infect a nearby computer. Thus, you can get infected without your PC actually coming into physical contact with removable media. Even if you don’t click any links or attachments or visit any shady site, just being on the same network as an infected device instantly renders your PC vulnerable.
What Are the Symptoms of the Dosrute Bot Malware?
The idea that a piece of code actually has control of your computer is no doubt terrifying. Everyone wants privacy. More so users want to control what they own, such as their personal computers. By creating botware like Dosrute, hackers are penetrating the realm of privacy invasion.
Even so, there are things you can do to wrestle your machine back from the control of these digital robots and their hacker overlords. Before you jump to conclusions, though, it is worth it to check whether the signs you’re getting are actually symptoms that your machine has been infected by bot malware.
To tell the truth, most types of critical malware have similar symptoms, but a few can be distinguished because of the peculiar effects they have on the machine. Read on to learn what you should be looking for with respect to Dosrute. The list below can be used to confirm your suspicions.
- Stop-start performance. A computer controlled by Dosrute is taken on a merry dance, which isn’t funny to the user. Sometimes, the machine breezes through tasks as if it were a mainframe computer. Other times, it is painfully and excruciatingly slow. It can even morph between these two extremes in the course of a single operation.
- Strange behaviour. A computer infected by botware might start opening applications and browsers ostensibly of its own volition. No, it isn’t being controlled by a puppet master behind the scene. Scratch that, it probably is. Botware is, after all, a method of remote automation.
- CPU usage goes through the roof. The sinister thing about this symptom is that the bot that is actually responsible will be using minimal CPU. Instead, it will trigger legitimate programs to use a lot of system resources, making the machine hot as hell.
- Shortcuts randomly appear on the desktop. If you didn’t create a desktop shortcut, you should know. If your computer has botware on it, it won’t ask your permission before it starts creating shortcuts and littering your desktop with them. Your aesthetic values aren’t its concern.
- Unknown files and programs. You want to know what those shortcuts are for, look no further than here. Bot malware can download files and programs automatically. It can even automatically turn on your WiFi in order to do so.
- Changes to the browser. Perhaps your beautiful browser homepage will be spared from changes. However, you shouldn’t hold your breath. Although this symptom is more common with adware, online robots can change your search engine as well and even install annoying browser extensions just to rub it in your face.
- Outbound messages. Imagine checking your email, only to find that you have somehow sent random messages to different people you have no interaction with. No, it isn’t your imagination. It is probably not your sleepwalking self, either. It could be the handiwork of online robots like Dosrute.
- Disabled antivirus. These bots are able to have free rein on infected systems partly because they are automated and partly because they adjust their behavior or the behavior of other programs on the machine to ensure they continue to work unchallenged. Some are programmed to turn off system protection on the device. They can disable or even delete antivirus software. So, if you find that your security program is always off even after being enabled, you know where your suspicions should turn.
If the symptoms on your computer lead you to believe you might have bot malware on your hands, read ahead to find out what is going on and possibly eliminate the infection before it becomes more serious.
How to Remove Dosrute from Windows 10
Dosrute and its cousin online bots can totally hijack the victim’s computer and automate different random tasks. The effect of these infections can be traumatic since they can use your machine to do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t be caught doing. Eliminating these types of malware is tricky because of their shape-shifting nature. We earlier mentioned how they possess the ability to modify their behavior so they do not trigger security flags on the machine.
Even so, you can do some things to minimize, if not totally stop, the damage being done to and through your computer. No, you don’t need to have professional knowledge, at least not at this point. You just need to follow the steps below meticulously, in the order they are presented, doing everything prescribed.
Disable the Internet and Remote Connection
Troubleshooting steps generally require you to be online in case you or a tool needs to search for files online. However, for botware such as Dosrute, the opposite situation is valid. Once the virus is discovered, you should hurry and terminate all connectivity to and from your system.
The reason for this is to prevent the bot from further establishing a connection with the botnet. Whether you are using a WiFi hotspot, an Ethernet cable or a wired connection from another device, sever the connection temporarily until you’re done with the initial troubleshooting steps at least.
Simply unplug wired cables or turn off your WiFi from the system tray. Now, you can go ahead and carry out other steps to remove botware from your computer.
One more thing, if your computer is infected and it is part of a network, whether remote or a local area network, you should immediately disconnect it from that network. This will help you in two ways: it stops the bot from infecting other machines within the network; it also protects your computer from further danger in case the malware gained a foothold on your machine via a network.
Close All Suspicious Programs in Task Manager
Task Manager in Windows 10 is the repository for running processes. Both system and third-party processes can be monitored here. It is possible for you to find a lead to the botware in Task Manager. Carefully observe all the running processes and take special note of those that show a spike in CPU usage.
Any process you find might not itself be related to the malware, but it can provide useful clues about the steps you need to take next. If you are lucky, you may come across a malware process as well.
For all suspicious programs found, right-click the entry and select End Task.
Uninstall the Parent Program of Suspicious Processes
Talking of the processes in Task Manager, if you find something you’re suspicious of, it might be linked to the botware. You can right-click the process and select Open File Location to find the containing folder. Look at the parent folder for the file, and this will give you an idea of which program it belongs to.
It might be an unknown program or one you cannot remember installing. Perhaps, it is recent freeware you downloaded off a shady site. In either scenario, your recourse is to quickly uninstall the program. You can use a third-party uninstaller to get rid of it and its leftover files as well.
Or you can use the Control Panel’s uninstallation feature:
1. Press the Windows Logo and X keys simultaneously to display the Windows 10 power options menu.
2. Select Control Panel from the menu, and Windows 10’s main settings control applet will open.
3. Change the “View by” mode in Control Panel to Large icons.
4. Select Programs and Features.
5. In the Programs and Features window, carefully peruse the listed desktop applications. When you come across any suspicious program, right-click it and select Uninstall.
6. Follow the onscreen instructions by the Windows uninstallation wizard.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for every suspicious program you find.
After carrying out these steps, restart the machine and proceed to the next step.
Remove the Dosrute Botware and Protect Your Computer with Auslogics Anti-Malware
The previous steps are effective only up to a point. Perhaps, they could work if you’re dealing with an ordinary virus. Simply deleting the program or process might be all that is required of you to free your machine from the malware, then.
Online bots, as we have reiterated, are a different beast. You need specialized detection and removal tools to successfully expunge a bot like Dosrute from an infected computer. If not, it would simply burrow into the deep recesses of the system and continue its nefarious activities from there.
Fortunately, there is specialized system protection software out there developed to successfully combat botware and rootkits. If you already use a security program like Windows Defender Firewall, that might not be enough.
However, with the additional aid of a specialized spyware and botware removal tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware, you can be assured that Dosrute won’t be an unwanted, uninvited guest on your PC for much longer. The software will perform a complete system scan on the machine and successfully discover and isolate malware, no matter how sophisticated it is or which methods of disguise are employed to mask it from ordinary virus detection software.
Even if you already have a subscription to another tool, the extra help won’t hurt. Your computer will certainly be a much safer and faster place if you employ Auslogics Anti-Malware as insurance for when your primary antivirus fails to detect dangerous malware like Dosrute. The software will stay alert in the background, ready to pounce on malicious items that the main security tool somehow missed.
You shouldn’t need any further invitation to download Auslogics Anti-Malware and start enjoying unparalleled protection against malware and data safety threats. After you’ve installed the tool, run a deep scan and it will perform a meticulous search of your PC, detecting and listing malware as it goes along. The scan might take a while, but patience is a virtue here.
Upon scan completion, you will be shown the results so you can take further action. Click the appropriate button to get rid of the discovered malware for good.
Reboot the machine to clean the system memory of all traces of the removed malware. You can now enjoy full control of your machine once more. As long as you keep Auslogics Anti-Malware running in the background and up to date with the latest definitions, you can be sure that Dosrute or any other botware or malware won’t be making a comeback.
Although you can use the methods here to remove the Dosrute online robot, preventive measures remain the best. You should not visit any shady website, and you definitely should not click on links, email attachments, or pop-up advertisements that you do not trust.
That said, everybody makes missteps sometimes. So, you should make sure your main protection software is always active and up to date. This way even if you click what you shouldn’t have, there is another line of defense to protect your machine against automated malware like Dosrute.