What is csrss.exe trojan and how to get rid of it?

by Julie Splinters - -
CSRSS Trojan

The csrss.exe process is a legitimate Microsoft[1] file which is often used to helm managing most of the graphical instruction under the Windows OS. The CSRSS stands for Client Runtime Server Process.

However, some malware samples can camouflage as a legitimate csrss.exe process to infect and harm the system.

The legitimate executable is commonly located in the C:\\Windows\\System32\\. Keep in mind that any file labeled as ‘csrss.exe’ and stored in any other location than C:\\Windows\\System32\\ can be considered as malware.

Even though there are various sources telling users that any csrss.exe process is a malicious Trojan horse which is developed to inject and harm Windows[2] operating system and must be removed as soon as possible, the legitimate process is responsible of the majority graphical instruction and removing it can result in a Blue Screen of Death.

However, Microsoft has confirmed that cyber attackers have distributed the malware named csrss.exe in the wild. One the system is infected, the computer also gets stuck and results in blue screen of death. Therefore, it is critical to identify if you are dealing with csrss.exe malware.

How to identify if you are dealing with csrss.exe malware?

As it was mentioned before, the original csrss.exe is a legitimate process developed by Microsoft Corporation residing in the Windows Operating system.

The first thing that you should do, if you have noticed your system acting weirdly is to run a full initial scan using a reputable Security software.

In addition, if you still think that your Windows PC could be infected with csrss.exe malware, check it’s location. If the location where the process is store appears to be different than C:\\Windows\\System32\\, it could be that case that you are actually dealing with malware.

Check if you are dealing with csrss.exe malware

  • Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing the combination of keys CTRL+DEL+ALT.
  • Then, check how many csrss processed are running.
  • If there is only one csrss.exe process running, your system is secure and safe.
  • However, if there are more than one csrss.exe processes running on our system, there are high chances that you are dealing with the csrss.exe Trojan horse.

Task Manager

What problems can the csrss.exe Trojan horse cause?

The csrss.exe malicious Trojan[3] camouflaging as a legitimate process is designed to steal user personal data, such as name, address, passwords, credit card information and even Internet banking credentials. It also can track user online activity.

What is more, the malicious csrss.exe process is capable of mining cryptocurrencies[4], such as Bitcoin, Monero, ZCash, and others. If the Trojan is mining digital currency using your system’s capacity, you also might notice your system interrupting various processes, lags, crashes, and freezes.

In addition, the scrss.exe consumes 100% of the system CPU when you are right-clicking on an item.

How does the ccsrss.exe Trojan horse get into your system?

Csrss.exe similarly to other Trojan horses can be spread various methods. The most popular ways to spread the malware is through the email attachments, cracker software or fake

Most of the time users get infected with the malware when do the following:

  • Launching infected email attachments.
  • Downloading software from unknown and suspicious sites.
  • Installing fake updates.
  • Clicking on malware-laden ads and pop-ups.

How you can protect your system against the malicious csrss.exe process.

Security researchers recommend users to stay vigilant while browsing the web, installing freeware and opening email attachments.

All you need to do is simply remember the following:

  • Do not install software from suspicious file-sharing websites, torrent or other P2P sites.
  • Avoid visiting suspicious and questionable websites or click on unknown URLs.
  • Do not click on suspicious pop-ups, ads or security alerts.
  • Select Custom or advanced installation setting while downloading freeware and uncheck all pre-selected checkmarks that might allow installation of add-ons, plugins, toolbars, extensions, etc
  • Use a reliable security and antivirus software with safe browsing feature.

Remove the csrss.exe Trojan from your system

The best way to remove the malicious csrss.exe process from your computer is by using a reliable anti-malware software, such as Malwarebytes.

In addition, you can remove the csrss.exe Trojan manually.

  • Method 1. Get rid of the csrss.exe malware using Safe Mode with Networking

If you want to remove csrss.exe from the device manually, we provide you with two methods to remove this malware. Please take the following steps.

In order to remove n using safe mode with networking from your Windows device.

If you have Windows 7/Vista or XP, take the following steps:

  1. Firstly, restart the system through the Start menu, click Start, Shutdown, then Restart and OK.
  2. Once your system becomes active again reboot your system via Safe Mode with Networking, by pressing F8 multiple times, until the Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  3. Then, select Safe Mode with Networking.

If you have Windows 10 PC, perform the following actions:

  1. At the Windows login screen press the Power button and press and hold Shift on your keyboard.
  2. Click the Restart button.
  3. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  4. Press the Restart button.
  5. Once your computer is restarted and becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings.
  6. Now, remove Csrss.exe by logging in to your infected account and start the browser.  Download legitimate antivirus system. Update it and take a full system scan then remove malware

Once your system is rebooted in a Safe Mode, remove the csrss.exe trojan by using anti-malware software.

  • Method 2. Remove Csrss.exe using system restore

In order to remove Csrss.exe, you can also use system restore. Firstly, you have to Reboot your system to Safe Mode with Command Prompt. In order to do so take the following steps:

  1. At the Windows login screen press the Power button and press and hold Shift on your keyboard.
  2. Click the Restart button.
  3. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  4. Press the Restart button.
  5. Once your computer is restarted and becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings.

Now you have to restore your system files and settings. To do so take the following steps:

  1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type cd restore and click the Enter button on your keyboard.
  2. Then, type rstrui.exe, press the Enter button on your keyboard again.
  3. Once the new window appears, click Next and then select a restore point that is prior to the infiltration of Csrss.exe.
  4. Then, click the Next button to continue.
  5. Finally, click the Yes button to start your system restore.

Congratulations! If all the steps were taken correctly, Csrss.exe should be removed from your computer and tour system was restored to a previous date. Now download and scan your computer with a reputable security and antivirus software.

Important! Make sure to run a full system scan using legitimate and reliable antivirus and internet security software for your PC which will detect and remove all kinds of PUPs, malware, and viruses. If you are not sure what security software to choose, make sure to check out our Security page.

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Our security team at Reviewed by Pro constantly tries new products in order to provide you with up-to-date information and reviews of the latest Internet security and antivirus applications not just for your Windows PC, but also for your Mac and Android devices.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - VPN service analyst

Julie Splinters is a VPN service analyst at Reviewedbypro.com, who specializes in VPN services and anti-spyware applications. Her major of English Philology and her passion for IT helped her choose the path of an IT writer.

Contact Julie Splinters
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