Watermark.exe is part of a Ramnit infection, which is a file infector, not a rootkit.Win32/Ramnit
(and related variants) is a dangerous file infector
functionality which infects .exe
, and .HTML
, and opens a back door
that compromises your computer
. Using this backdoor, a remote attacker can access and instruct the infected computer to download and execute more malicious files. The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as Virus:VBS/Ramnit.A
is a related file infector
often seen with this infection. It too has IRCBot
functionality which infects .exe, .dll
and opens a back door
that compromises your computer
. This component is injected into the default web browser by Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A
which is dropped by a Ramnit infected executable file.-- Note: As with most malware infections, the threat name may be different depending on the anti-virus or anti-malware program which detected it. Each security vendor uses their own naming conventions to identify various types of malware.
With this particular infection the safest solution and only sure way to remove it effectively is to reformat and reinstall the OS
- Understanding virus names
- VirusTotal Threat aliases for W32/Ramnit <- Win32.Ramnit!IK, W32.Ramnit!inf, Win32.Rmnet
- VirScan Threat aliases for W32/Ramnit <- Win32/Zbot, PWS.Panda.387, PE_RAMNIT, Trojan/Generic.arhm
- McAfee Threat aliases for W32/Ramnit - link 1 <- Trojan.Generic.KD, Win32/Zbot, W32/Cosmu
- McAfee Threat aliases for W32/Ramnit - link 2 <- SHeur3.AQRA, W32/Patched-I, Win32.Nimnul, W32/Pedalac
The malware injects code in legitimate files similar to the Virut virus
and in many cases the infected files (which could number in the thousands
) cannot be disinfected
properly by your anti-virus. When disinfection is attempted, the files often become corrupted and the system may become unstable or irreparable
. The longer Ramnit.A remains on a computer, the more files it infects and corrupts so the degree of damage can vary. Ramnit
is commonly spread
via a flash drive
(usb, pen, thumb, jump) infection
where it copies Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A with a random file name. The infection is often contracted by visiting remote
sites. These type of sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware
and a major source of system infection.
In my opinion, Ramnit is not effectively disinfectable
, so your best option is to perform a full reformat as there is no guarantee this infection can be completely removed
. In most instances it may have caused so much damage to your system files that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Security vendors that claim to be able to remove file infectors cannot guarantee
that all traces of it will be removed as they may not find all the remnants. If something goes awry during the malware removal process there is always a risk the computer may become unstable or unbootable and you could loose access to all your data.
Further, your machine has likely been compromised
by the backdoor Trojan
and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume the computer is secure
even if your anti-virus reports that the malware appears to have been removed.
Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat
and reinstall the OS. Please read:
Backdoors and What They Mean to You
Whenever a system has been compromised by a backdoor payload, it is impossible to know if or how much the backdoor has been used to affect your system...There are only a few ways to return a compromised system to a confident security configuration. These include:
• Reimaging the system
• Restoring the entire system using a full system backup from before the backdoor infection
• Reformatting and reinstalling the system
This is what security expert miekiemoes
has to say: Virut and other File infectors - Throwing in the Towel?
If I guide someone with Virut (or any other File Infector) present and their Antivirus cannot properly disinfect it, then I recommend a format and reinstall...dealing with such infections is a waste of time and that's why I prefer the fastest and safest solution - which is a format and reinstall...After all, I think it would be irresponsible to let the malware "stew" (download/spread/run more malware) for another couple of days/weeks if you already know it's a lost case.
This is what Jesper M. Johansson
at Microsoft TechNet has to say: Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?
The only way to clean a compromised system is to flatten and rebuild. That’s right. If you have a system that has been completely compromised, the only thing you can do is to flatten the system (reformat the system disk) and rebuild it from scratch (reinstall Windows and your applications).