PennyWise Malware


PennyWise is a creation of hackers with malicious intentions who target different computers and mess with them in a number of ways. PennyWise is a new member of the Trojan horse family and poses a great risk to the infected machine because it can do major damage in a short period of time.

The PennyWise malware corrupt crypto wallets, certain files, folders, archives and backups,

The hackers use deceptive tricks to contaminate as many users as possible which is why they spread their creation via different transmitters including free software installation bundles, pirated software, cracked programs, malicious email messages and attachments, spam and malvertisements. The malware typically sneaks inside the targeted system silently, without showing any unusual behavior or symptoms that would draw your attention. This is exactly what helps it perform its criminal agenda.

The PennyWise Malware

As most Trojan-based viruses, the PennyWise malware may also be used for different purposes and it is difficult to say what its effects could be. The PennyWise malware is absolutely in the capacity of such malware to mess with your system’s performance by launching some harmful background processes that can consume a lot of CPU and RAM.

Another thing that PennyWise could be used for is to corrupt crypto wallets, certain files, folders, archives and backups, as well as to mess with the system’s settings and the software that is installed in it.

The infection may block some of the processes of the security software and may open new security holes which could be exploited by other viruses such as ransomware or spyware. The infection may also provide its authors with unauthorized access to the attacked machine and allow them to transfer sensitive data (such as passwords, login credentials, banking details, etc.) to their criminal servers. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect and remove the Trojan horse without the help of a trusted malware removal tool because it may spread its malicious code in various system folders and may mimic regular processes. That’s why it is very important to be very careful when trying to remove PennyWise from your computer.

How to safely remove PennyWise without risks for your system

The effective elimination of the Trojan horse infection is not an easy task. You have to carefully go through a set of removal steps if you choose the manual removal method. However, keep in mind that threats like PennyWise and Altruistics are very advanced and they try to hide well in order to remain on your PC longer. That’s why they oftentimes spread copies of their malicious files in different system locations.

Additionally, they may mimic normal system processes, files and services and could even carry different names. It is also possible that the files associated with the infection may hide among major system files and if you fail to detect them, you may accidentally delete something vital for the operation of your OS. For this reason, we usually advise our readers to be very careful when they follow the instructions in the removal guide or use the help of the suggested professional removal tool if they are not sure what they need to remove.


Danger Level High (Trojans are often used as a backdoor for Ransomware)
Symptoms Trojans are very stealthy threats and they usually hide deep in the system without showing particular symptoms.
Distribution Method A wide range of distributors such as fake ads, malicious links, torrents, infected installers, illegal websites, spam.
Detection Tool

Remove PennyWise Malware

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 will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 


    Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.


    You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:



    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


    Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

    • Remember this step – if you have reason to believe a bigger threat (like ransomware) is on your PC, check everything here.

    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.


    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

    Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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