You can read on this page how deadly the Trojan.Gatak is. Therefore, we urge you to remove this Trojan at once and install protection software to avoid future infection.

Trojan.Gatak is a computer infection that may gather and send sensitive user information to a remote attacker. Some of the data it collects might include user name and passwords, credit card information, bank accounts, financial information and other online logon credentials. With Trojan.Gatak backdoor functionalities, infected systems can be access by a remote attacker even without proper authorization of computer user.

Damage Level: Medium

Systems Affected: Windows 9x, 2000, XP, Windows Vista

This Trojan typically disguises as legitimate messaging applications. It enters the computer using the following malicious files:
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Google Talk\googletalk.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe

If user executes these files, the Trojan instantly adds several configuration files that are necessary to implement various malicious activities. Configuration file is located on the following folder:
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\[Random Folder]\[Random File]

When essential files are properly set inside the system, Trojan.Gatak’s next move is to arrange an entry on Windows registry so that it will run when computer starts. The following are entries that belong to this Trojan:
= “%UserProfile%\Application Data\Google Talk\googletalk.exe /autostart”

= “%UserProfile%\Application Data\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe\” /nosplash /minimized””

Additionally, the Trojan is launched when opening an application called “Explorer.exe.” On compromised system, Trojan.Gatak intends to inject its code into the said process for that sole purpose.
Lastly, it will create a backdoor. This serves as access so that the Trojan may accomplish the following tasks:

  • Connect to a remote location to receive commands from an attacker
  • Download and upload data
  • Occasionally update itself
  • Download additional threats

Trojan.Gatak spreads through compromised web sites. It was designed specifically to create a special spot on web sites that instantly infects visitors. Some part of this Trojan may propagate through unsecured peer-to-peer network connections. Once inside the computer, the Trojan will infect certain Windows process to obtain automatic execution.

How to Remove Trojan.Gatak

Systematic procedures to get rid of the threat are presented on this section. Make sure to scan the computer with suggested tools and scanners.

NOTE: We suggest that you PRINT or BOOKMARK this guide. There are steps that we may have to restart the computer in order to successfully remove the threat.

Step 1 : Run a scan with your antivirus program

1. Remove all media such as Memory Card, cd, dvd, and USB devices. Then, restart the computer and please do the following:

Boot in Safe Mode on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 system
a) Before Windows begins to load, press F8 on your keyboard.
b) It will display the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select Safe Mode.

Start computer in Safe Mode using Windows 8 and Windows 10
a) Close any running programs on your computer.
b) Get ready to Start Windows. On your keyboard, Press and Hold Shift key and then, click on Restart button.
c) It will prompt you with options, please click on Troubleshoot icon.
d) Under Troubleshoot window, select Advanced Options.
e) On next window, click on Startup Settings icon.
f) Lastly, click on Restart button on subsequent window.
g) When Windows restarts, present startup options with numbers 1 - 9. Select "Enable Safe Mode with Networking" or number 5.

Startup Options

h) Windows will now boot on Safe Mode with Networking. Proceed with virus scan as the next step.

2. Once Windows is running under Safe Mode with Networking, open your antivirus program and download the most recent update. This method ensures that your antivirus program can detect even newer variants of Trojan.Gatak.

Updating your antivirus software is a one-click process. Please refer to your software manual for complete instructions.

3. Once updating is finished, run a full system scan on the affected PC. After the scan, delete all infected items. If unable to clean or delete, better place the threat in quarantine.

Step 2: Run another test with online virus scanner

Another way to remove Trojan.Gatak without the need to install additional antivirus software is to perform a thorough scan with free online virus scanner. It can be found on websites of legitimate antivirus and security provider.

1. Click the button below to proceed to the list of suggested Online Virus Scanner. Choose your desired provider. You can run each scan individually, one at a time, to ensure that all threats will be removed from the computer. This may require plug-ins, add-on or Activex object, please install if you want to proceed with scan.

Online Virus Scan

2. After completing the necessary download, your system is now ready to scan and remove Trojan.Gatak and other kinds of threats.
3. Select an option in which you can thoroughly scan the computer to make sure that it will find and delete entirely all infections not detected on previous scan.
4. Remove or delete all detected items.
5. When scanning is finished, you may now restart the computer in normal mode.

Alternative Removal Procedures for Trojan.Gatak

Option 1 : Use Windows System Restore to return Windows to previous state

During an infection, Trojan.Gatak drops various files and registry entries. The threat intentionally hides system files by setting options in the registry. With these rigid changes, the best solution is to return Windows to previous working state is through System Restore.

To verify if System Restore is active on your computer, please follow the instructions below to access this feature.

Access System Restore on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

a) Go to Start Menu, then under 'Run' or 'Search Program and Files' field, type rstrui.
b) Then, press Enter on the keyboard to open System Restore Settings.


Open System Restore on Windows 8 and Windows 10

a) Hover your mouse cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and wait for the Start icon to appear.
b) Right-click on the icon and select Run from the list. This will open a Run dialog box.
c) Type rstrui on the 'Open' field and click on OK to initiate the command.


If previous restore point is saved, you may proceed with Windows System Restore. Click here to see the full procedure.


About Adam Green

Adam is a seasoned security lover who has written hundreds of articles about malware, VPNs, and online security. He has been writing for since 2010.

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