What is Cortana.exe Miner? And how does it function?
Cortana.exe Miner is a malicious program that belongs under the category of Trojan horses. This malware is utilized by cyber criminals to mine for the Monero digital currency on infected computers. It isn’t clear yet how exactly this Trojan horse is installed in the system but once it’s installed, it drops the C:\Windows\servicing\chksum.exe file. This file will be configured to start automatically every time users log into their PCs.
After that, it drops another file C:\Windows\servicing\starter.exe which is the one that starts the attack on the system. It then creates another file C:\Windows\servicing\wsus.exe – this malicious program is the one that continuously checks if the C:\Windows\servicing\starter.exe file is running. Once it stops running, it will start the infection automatically. Afterwards, the starter.exe malicious program will launch another command in Windows PowerShell which then creates another malicious program called “Cortana.exe”. This new malicious program is the one that performs the actual mining of the Monero digital currency.
The Cortana.exe Miner is then renamed “XMRig.exe” that once started will use the mining pool at monerohash.com in order to use all the available CPU power of the infected PC to mine for Monero. Like other digital coin miner, Cortana.exe Miner will use an infected PC’s entire CPU processing power indefinitely which will cause the CPU to run at a very hot temperature for extended period of time. As a result, it will most likely shorten the CPU’s life.
If you are one of the users infected with this Trojan horse, take note that there really is no outward indication that your computer is indeed infected. However, you will not miss the sudden slowness of your computer. Programs in your computer do not open as quickly as before. Thus, if you want to use your computer as efficiently like you used to and prolong your CPU’s life, then you need to terminate this Trojan horse from your computer right away.
How is Cortana.exe Miner disseminated over the web?
Though it isn’t clear yet how Cortana.exe Miner is installed in a targeted computer, according to security experts, this Trojan horse might be disseminated over the web through malware downloading Trojans, adware bundles, fake software or software update, and many more.
Terminate Cortana.exe Miner from your computer using the removal guide prepared below.
Step 1: Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the Windows Task Manager.
Step 2: Go to the Processes tab and look for the malicious processes named “Cortana.exe” with a description of “Cortana Runtime” as well as the processes named “XMRig.exe”, “Starter.exe”, “Chksum.exe”, “Skype.exe”, and Wsus.exe. Right click on each one of these malicious processes and select End Task.
Step 3: Close the Task Manager and open Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in “appwiz.cpl” and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: Look for dubious programs that might by related to the Cortana.exe Miner and then Uninstall it/them.
Step 5: Close Control Panel and then tap Win + E to launch File Explorer.
Step 6: After opening File Explorer, navigate to the following directories below and look for Cortana.exe Miner’s malicious components such as the chksum.exe, wsus.exe, starter.exe and other suspicious-looking files and then erase them all.
Step 7: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use [product-name], this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.
Step 8: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 9: Navigate to the listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by Cortana.exe Miner.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 10: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Cortana.exe Miner.
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: Empty your Recycle Bin.
After executing the above given steps, you need to continue the removal process of this Trojan horse using a reliable program like [product-name]. How? Simply follow the advanced removal steps below.
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.