How to remove Zeus Virus from Windows (2017 Help Guide)

Zeus Trojan (or Zbot Trojan)  is a computer virus that attempts to steal confidential information from the compromised computer.
The Trojan itself is primarily distributed through spam campaigns and drive-by downloads, though given its versatility, other vectors may also be utilized. The user may receive an email message purporting to be from organizations such as the FDIC, IRS, MySpace, Facebook, or Microsoft. The message body warns the user of a problem with their financial information, online account, or software and suggests they visit a link provided in the email. The computer is compromised if the user visits the link, if it is not protected.

The Zeus Trojan has primarily been designed to steal confidential information from the computers it compromises. It specifically targets system information, online credentials, and banking details, but can be customized through the toolkit to gather any sort of information. This is done by tailoring configuration files that are compiled into the Trojan installer by the attacker. These can later be updated to target other information, if the attacker so wishes.

Confidential information is gathered through multiple methods. Upon execution the Trojan automatically gathers any Internet Explorer, FTP, or POP3 passwords that are contained within Protected Storage (PStore). However, its most effective method for gathering information is by monitoring Web sites included in the configuration file, sometimes intercepting the legitimate Web pages and inserting extra fields (e.g. adding a date of birth field to a banking Web page that originally only requested a username and password).
Additionally, Zeus Trojan contacts a command-and-control (C&C) server and makes itself available to perform additional functions. This allows a remote attacker to command the Trojan to download and execute further files, shutdown or reboot the computer, or even delete system files, rendering the computer unusable without reinstalling the operating system.
Symantec has observed the following geographic distribution of this threat:
Zeus Trojan virus
Zeus Trojan can be detected by the security products as: Trojan-Spy:W32/Zbot [F-Secure],PWS-Zbot [McAfee],Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot [Kaspersky], Win32/Zbot [Microsoft],Infostealer.Monstres [Symantec], Infostealer.Banker.C [Symantec],Trojan.Wsnpoem [Symantec] or Troj/Zbot-LG [Sophos].

How to remove Zeus malware (Virus Removal Guide)

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

To remove Zeus virus, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Use Rkill to stop the malicious process

RKill is a program that will attempt to terminate all malicious processes associated with this infection, so that we will be able to perform the next step without being interrupted by this malicious software.

Because this utility will only stop the malicious process and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot your computer.
  1. You can download Rkill from the below link.
    RKILL DOWNLOAD LINK (his link will open a new web page from where you can download “RKill”)
  2. Double click on Rkill program to stop the malicious programs from running.
    Start the Rkill program
  3. RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while this utiltiy looks for malicious process and tries to end them.
    Rkill Running
  4. When the Rkill tool has completed its task, it will generate a log. Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
    Rkill Program

STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove the Zeus Virus

Malwarebytes is a powerful on-demand scanner which should remove the adware responsible for the Zeus Virus. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK (This link open a new page from where you can download “Malwarebytes”)
  2. When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the “mb3-setup-consumer” file to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
    Malwarebytes installer
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Malwarebytes User Account Control Prompt
  3. When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Setup Malwarebytes installer
    To install Malwarebytes on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Completing the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Perform a system scan with Malwarebytes
  5. Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
    This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning for malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected.
    To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
    Malwarebytes Quarantine Selected
  7. Malwarebytes will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found.
    To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes removing malware from computer
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to Scan for Malware and Unwanted Programs

HitmanPro can find and remove malware, adware, bots, and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. HitmanPro is designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall, and other security tools.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on the “hitmanpro” file to install this program on your computer.
    HitmanPro icon
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    HitmanPro User Account Control Pop-up
  3. When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
    HitmanPro setup process
  4. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for Zeus virus
  5. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  6. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Activate HitmanPro to remove malware
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with Zemana AntiMalware Portable

Zemana AntiMalware Portable is a free utility that will scan your computer for the Zeus Virus and other malicious programs.

  1. You can download Zemana AntiMalware Portable from the below link:
    ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE PORTABLE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Zemana AntiMalware Portable”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Portable” to perform a system scan with Zemana AntiMalware Free.
    Zemana AntiMalware portable
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this program. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to allow Zemana AntiMalware to run.
    Zemana AntiMalware User Account Control
  3. When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
    Zemana AntiMalware Free Scan
  4. Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your computer for malicious programs. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
    Zemana AntiMalware scanning for virus
  5. When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware that has been detected. To remove all the malicious files, click on the “Next” button.
    Zemana AntiMalware Removing Zeus Virus
    Zemana AntiMalware will now start to remove all the malicious programs from your computer. When the process is complete, you can close Zemana AntiMalware and continue with the rest of the instructions.

(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Scan your PC with Emsisoft Emergency Kit

The Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner includes the powerful Emsisoft Scanner complete with graphical user interface. Scan the infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other malicious programs.

  1. You can download Emsisoft Emergency Kit from the below link.
    EMSISOFT EMERGENCY KIT DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Emsisoft Emergency Kit)
  2. Double-click on the “EmsisoftEmergencyKit” icon, then click on the “Extract” button.
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit program
  3. On your desktop you should now have a “Start Extract Emsisoft Emergency Kit” icon, double-click on it, then when the program will start allow it to update its database.
    Update Emsisoft Emergency Kit program
  4. Once the Emsisoft Emergency Kit has update has completed,click on the “Scan” tab, and perform a “Smart Scan“.
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit Smart Scan
  5. When the scan will be completed,you will be presented with a screen reporting which malicious files has Emsisoft detected on your computer, and you’ll need to click on Quarantine selected objects to remove them.
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit malware removal

Your computer should now be free of malware. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a trojan, virus, worm or any other type of malware, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

I am the creator and owner of the MalwareTips Community. I've started this site in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems. My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released. I live in Bucharest, where I run my own local computer repair shop. You can follow me on Google+ and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.