Poweliks is a type of Trojan malware that can hide in the Windows Registry, making it challenging to detect and remove. Poweliks usually functions as a downloader or dropper for additional malicious payloads like banking Trojans, ransomware, or adware. It often enters a system through exploit kits, malicious email attachments, or drive-by downloads. Once Poweliks gains access, it uses various techniques to evade detection, including encrypting its code, operating within the Windows Registry, and avoiding writing files to the disk.
- Registry-based persistence: Poweliks creates and modifies registry entries so it is automatically executed during startup. It often employs obfuscation techniques to make it more difficult to detect.
- Fileless infection: Poweliks doesn’t rely on dropping executable files onto the disk. Instead, it resides solely within the memory and uses legitimate system processes to perform malicious activities.
- Click-fraud schemes: Poweliks are used in click-fraud, where it generates fake clicks on online ads for financial gain of the attackers.
- Botnet participation: Poweliks joins a botnet and is then used to carry out malicious activities, like launching DDoS attacks or distributing spam emails.
- Information theft: Poweliks collect sensitive information from an infected system so that the data can be later used for identity theft, fraud, or sold on underground markets.
- Update your antivirus: Ensure that your antivirus software is up to date with the latest virus definitions. This will help detect and remove Poweliks or prevent it from executing.
- Run a full system scan: Make sure to scan all drives and removable media connected to your computer.
- Use specialized removal tools: Since Poweliks is difficult to remove using traditional antivirus software, you might have to use specialized removal tools (e.g.: Poweliks Cleaner) designed to target Poweliks malware specifically.
- Disconnect from the internet: If you suspect that your computer is infected with Poweliks, it’s a good idea to disconnect from the internet to prevent further damage or data loss. Unplug your network cable or disable your Wi-Fi connection.
- Disable suspicious startup entries: Poweliks often creates malicious entries in the Windows startup process, so it can launch automatically on startup. Disabling suspicious entries might mitigate the problem.
- Delete malicious registry entries: Poweliks modifies the Windows registry to ensure its persistence and deleting the entries might help fix the issue. However, make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting to delete them.
- Restore from a clean backup: If you have a recent backup of your system that you are confident is free from Poweliks, you can restore your computer to that state. This can remove the malware and its associated files. However, make sure you don’t restore infected files or backups.
- Seek professional help: If previous steps don’t work or you’re not sure about taking some of them, it’s best to seek professional assistance. Contact a reputable computer security expert or your antivirus software provider for guidance.