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How to remove Trollware (Malware Removal Guide)

What is Trollware?

Trollware is software purposely or accidentally designed to annoy you rather than be malicious like malware (although trollware can be malicious). Due to bad development, trollware might accidentally crash, lag, be unresponsive, and exhibit incorrect behavior; However, other forms of trollware are intentionally developed to be obnoxious or obtain a backdoor to the infected computer similar to what a trojan horse does.

trollware

Some versions of trollware are purposely designed to be a nuisance. For example, xolzsec is essentially “ransomware” that infects your computer and displays an image of a laughing face that says “I Don’t Know man, but you are idiots LOL.” The trollware really does nothing else.

what is trollware

Other versions of trollware like the fake Cain XPii Cleaner app spams your desktop with fake ads for adult websites, pictures of hamburgers, crying babies, and more. This version is considered malware because it will also establish a back door to the infected computer and will delete files on the computer. Additional symptoms of this fake cleaner app and other versions of trollware include:

  • Deletes everything on the Desktop.
  • Starts on login.
  • Spams the screen with message boxes.
  • Shows a fake product and payment page for the fake cleaner.
  • Automatically closes itself.
  • Stops the mouse from working.
  • Kills the CPU by performing multiple loops at the same time.
  • Continuously starts new threads that execute the c:\Windows\System32\write.exe command, which opens Wordpad. This makes the computer unusable.
  • Spams the Desktop with images of kids crying, hamburgers, and other stuff.
  • Plays music and other audio.

There are many different types of software designed to troll the computer user and some can be malicious. Some versions of trollware can obtain a backdoor the computer and might be considered trojans. They will connect to a URL and utilize a list of commands that the malware would download and execute. Trojans like this are mostly established to deliver advertisements to the user or manipulate internet browser settings. Other versions of trollware are simply annoying.

How does trollware get onto a computer?

There are many ways that trollware can infect a computer. Most ransomware type trollware is usually distributed in a massive spam email campaign. The email messages sent by the developers contain malicious attachments or links that will download a file. When the file is executed it will spread the trollware across the machine.

Trollware can also be distributed via social media posts, comments, and messages.

1. Remove Trollware with Malwarebytes


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  1. Open your browser window and download Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
  2. Open the executable file (mb3-setup.exe) to begin installing Malwarebytes.
  3. Select your language, click Next, then select “I accept the agreement,” click the Next button several times, and then click the Install button to install Malwarebytes. Click Finish once the install process is complete.
  4. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button on the Dashboard to begin scanning your computer.
  5. Click the Quarantine Selected button once the scan is finished.
  6. If Malwarebytes says “All selected items have been removed successfully. A log file has been saved to the logs folder. Your computer needs to be restarted to complete the removal process. Would you like to restart now?” click the Yes button to restart your computer.

2. Remove trace files with HitmanPro


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  1. Open your browser window and download HitmanPro.
  2. Open the executable file (hitmanpro_x64.exe or hitmanpro_x32.exe) to begin installing HitmanPro.
  3. Click the Next button, check “I accept the terms of the license agreement,” and click the Next button again.
  4. On the Setup page select “Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended)” and add your email address to the registration fields to begin the free trial.
  5. Click Next to begin scanning your computer.
  6. Once the Scan results are displayed click the Next button and click the Next button again on the Removal results page.

3. Clean up and repair issues with CCleaner


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  1. Open your browser window and download CCleaner Professional or CCleaner Free.
  2. Open the executable file (ccsetup.exe or other) to begin installing CCleaner.
  3. Click the Install button to begin stalling the program.
  4. Click Run CCleaner to open the program when installation is complete.
  5. Select the Cleaner tab and click the Analyze button.
  6. When the Analyze process is complete click the Run Cleaner button to clean all files.
  7. Next, select the Registry tab and click the Scan for Issues button to scan for issues in your registry.
  8. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected Issues button and Fix All Selected Issues button to fix the issues.
  9. Next, select the Tools tab and click Startup. Examine each area, search for suspicious entries, and delete any suspicious startup entries by selecting the entry and clicking the Delete button.
  10. Next, click Browser Plugins and search each internet browser for unwanted browser add-ons and extensions. Click the extension you want to delete and click the Delete button to remove it.

File Recovery Software

NAME DESCRIPTION DOWNLOAD
Shadow Explorer Restores lost or damaged files from Shadow Copies Download (Free)
Photorec Recovers lost files Download (Free)
Recuva Recovers lost files Download (Free) | Buy

Troubleshoot

Alternative methods are suggested if there are issues removing Trollware-style ransomware from an infected computer.

How to Restore your computer

If a restore point has previously been established on your machine you will be able to perform a system restore in order to restore your machine to a date and time before it was infected. You will lose files on your computer that were obtained prior to the restore point.

There are several options to restore your computer. Most computers have their own restore software that can be found by performing a search. Additionally, computers that run the Windows Operating System have a default restore program that can also be found by performing a search.

A boot screen that can be used to access options to restore your computer can be reached by rebooting your computer and pressing the F8 key once the manufacture screen is displayed.

How to Recover your computer to factory settings

A system recovery (or reset) will recover your computer to factory settings. You will lose the current programs and files on your computer.

There are several options to recover your computer to factory settings. Most computers have their own recovery software that can be found by performing a search. Additionally, computers that run the Windows Operating System have a default recovery program that can also be found by performing a search.

A boot screen that can be used to access options to restore your computer can be reached by rebooting your computer and pressing the F8 key once the manufacture screen is displayed.

Lead Editor

Jared Harrison is an accomplished tech author and entrepreneur, bringing forth over 20 years of extensive expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. He has made significant contributions to the industry and has been featured in multiple esteemed publications. Jared is widely recognized for his keen intellect and innovative insights, earning him a reputation as a respected figure in the tech community.

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