Unveiling Latrodectus: The Stealthy Malware Threat and How to Protect Yourself

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In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, a new menace has emerged, causing concern among individuals and organizations alike. Dubbed Latrodectus, this malware has quickly gained notoriety for its sophisticated infiltration techniques and the extensive damage it can inflict on infected systems. Below, we delve into what Latrodectus is, how it finds its way into computers, and crucial steps to prevent malware installation.

Latrodectus malware is capable of executing a variety of commands

What is Latrodectus?

Latrodectus, first identified in October 2023, is a potent backdoor malware written in C. It operates by sending and receiving information over HTTP, utilizing RC4 encryption to mask its communications. Developed by the notorious group LUNAR SPIDER—also the creators of the infamous IcedID (aka BokBot) Malware—Latrodectus showcases a frightening level of sophistication. This malware is capable of executing a variety of commands for discovery, extracting detailed information about the victim’s machine, self-updating, and even downloading and executing additional malicious payloads, including EXE files, DLLs, and shellcode.

Key Features of Latrodectus:

  • Backdoor Functionality: Allows remote access to the infected machine.
  • Communication Over HTTP: Uses encrypted requests for stealthy operation.
  • Versatile Payload Handling: Can download and execute various types of malicious files.

Infiltration Techniques

The primary method of Latrodectus distribution is through deceptive email links. Victims are lured to a counterfeit download page, which employs cursor tracking to trigger a JavaScript-based download. Once initiated, this script fetches an MSI file from an SMB server, leading to the installation of the Latrodectus DLL on the victim’s computer. This method of infiltration is particularly insidious because it exploits the user’s trust and curiosity, using seemingly benign interactions to deploy its harmful payload.

How Latrodectus Infiltrates Computers:

  • Deceptive Email Links: Masquerading as legitimate communications.
  • Fake Download Pages: Utilize cursor movement tracking to activate downloads.
  • SMB Server Downloads: The malware is installed via an MSI file that downloads the Latrodectus DLL.

How to Avoid Installation of Malware

Protecting your digital environment from threats like Latrodectus requires vigilance and adherence to best practices in cybersecurity. Below are essential tips to help you safeguard your computer against malware infections:

1. Verify Source Reliability

Always ensure that any file you download or receive via email comes from a reliable and verified source. The adage “better safe than sorry” is particularly pertinent in the context of cybersecurity.

2. Use Advanced Email Filters

Implementing advanced email filtering solutions can help intercept phishing attempts and malicious links before they reach your inbox.

3. Update Your Software Regularly

Keep your operating system, applications, and antivirus software up to date to protect against known vulnerabilities and threats.

4. Enable Web Browser Security Features

Modern web browsers come equipped with security features designed to block malicious websites and downloads. Ensure these are activated and kept up to date.

5. Educate Yourself and Others

Awareness is a powerful tool against cyber threats. Stay informed about the latest malware trends and share this knowledge within your community or organization.

6. Implement Strong Password Policies

Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and consider using a reputable password manager to keep them secure.

By understanding the nature of Latrodectus malware and adhering to these preventative measures, individuals and organizations can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to this and other malicious software, like BBWC or Barousel. In the digital age, cybersecurity is not just a technical requirement but a critical component of safe online behavior.


Type Trojan
Detection Tool

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How to Remove Latrodectus

To try and remove Latrodectus quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the Latrodectus extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove Latrodectus by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of Latrodectus and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Latrodectus removal guide below.

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide.

Some of the steps may require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Next, Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step1 Uninstall the Latrodectus app and kill its processes

The first thing you must try to do is look for any sketchy installs on your computer and uninstall anything you think may come from Latrodectus. After that, you’ll also need to get rid of any processes that may be related to the unwanted app by searching for them in the Task Manager.

Note that sometimes an app, especially a rogue one, may ask you to install something else or keep some of its data (such as settings files) on your PC – never agree to that when trying to delete a potentially rogue software. You need to make sure that everything is removed from your PC to get rid of the malware. Also, if you aren’t allowed to go through with the uninstallation, proceed with the guide, and try again after you’ve completed everything else.

  • Uninstalling the rogue app
  • Killing any rogue processes

Type Apps & Features in the Start Menu, open the first result, sort the list of apps by date, and look for suspicious recently installed entries.

Click on anything you think could be linked to Latrodectus, then select uninstall, and follow the prompts to delete the app.

delete suspicious Latrodectus apps

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, click More Details (if it’s not already clicked), and look for suspicious entries that may be linked to Latrodectus.

If you come across a questionable process, right-click it, click Open File Location, scan the files with the free online malware scanner shown below, and then delete anything that gets flagged as a threat.

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    Delete Latrodectus files and quit its processes.

    After that, if the rogue process is still visible in the Task Manager, right-click it again and select End Process.

    Step2 Undo Latrodectus changes made to different system settings

    It’s possible that Latrodectus has affected various parts of your system, making changes to their settings. This can enable the malware to stay on the computer or automatically reinstall itself after you’ve seemingly deleted it. Therefore, you need to check the following elements by going to the Start Menu, searching for specific system elements that may have been affected, and pressing Enter to open them and see if anything has been changed there without your approval. Then you must undo any unwanted changes made to these settings in the way shown below:

    • DNS
    • Hosts
    • Startup
    • Task
    • Services
    • Registry

    Type in Start Menu: View network connections

    Right-click on your primary network, go to Properties, and do this:

    Undo DNS changes made by Latrodectus

    Type in Start Menu: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

    Delete Latrodectus IPs from Hosts

    Type in the Start Menu: Startup apps

    Disable Latrodectus startup apps

    Type in the Start Menu: Task Scheduler

    Delete Latrodectus scheduled tasks

    Type in the Start Menu: Services

    Disable Latrodectus services

    Type in the Start Menu: Registry Editor

    Press Ctrl + F to open the search window

    Clear the Registry from Latrodectus items

    About the author


    Valentin Slavov

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