GootKit Malware

Gootkit is an advanced banking Trojan first discovered in mid-2014. Known for using various techniques to evade detection, the malware also has its own unique methods: it’s partially written in JavaScript and it incorporates the node.js runtime environment.

GootKit is also known as talalpek, Trojan. GootKit or Xswkit. Like many other trojans, GootKit steals various personal, confidential information. Once installed, it also acts as a ‘backdoor’ allowing cybercriminals to access and control a computer remotely (e.g. to download additional files to an infected computer). GootKit is often distributed using another trojan-type program called Emotet.

The three main modules

Gootkit uses three main modules,

  • The Loader
  • The Main Module
  • The Web Injection Module

The loader module is the first stage of the Trojan which sets up the persistent environment. The main module creates a proxy server which works in conjunction with the new browser injection module.

How did GootKit infiltrate my computer?

Typically, cybercriminals proliferate GootKit trojan using spam email campaigns such as Emergency Exit Map. Most spam campaigns infect computers through presented web links or attachments. Opening these links or attachments leads to download and installation of a malicious program such as GootKit, or other high-risk computer infection. The presented attachments are often Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, and so on), PDF or archive files (such as ZIP, RAR), executable files (.exe), and so on. For example, if a downloaded and opened attachment is an MS Office document, it will ask to enable macro commands. Allowing this gives permission for malware to be downloaded and installed. Similar rules apply to other malicious attachments – they must first be opened to do any harm.


  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device’s visibility is set to “Hidden” so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to “Unauthorized”, requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources

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