The Enduring Threat of Qakbot Malware: How it Evolves to Stay Dangerous

Qakbot is a type of malware that has been around for over a decade, and despite efforts to stamp it out, it continues to pose a serious threat to businesses and individuals alike. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what Qakbot is, how it works, and why it's so difficult to eradicate.

What is Qakbot?

Qakbot, also known as Qbot, is a type of banking Trojan that first emerged in 2007. Its primary goal is to steal sensitive information from infected machines, such as login credentials and financial data. It spreads through a variety of methods, including phishing emails, infected attachments, and drive-by downloads.

How Does Qakbot Work?

Qakbot is a complex piece of malware that uses multiple techniques to evade detection and infect systems. Once it infects a machine, it can spread to other machines on the same network, making it difficult to contain. It also has the ability to steal data from infected machines and send it back to the attackers' servers.

One of the ways Qakbot evades detection is by using polymorphism, which means it can change its code each time it infects a new machine. This makes it more difficult for antivirus software to recognize and remove the malware. It also uses rootkit techniques to hide its presence on infected machines, making it more difficult for users to detect and remove.

Why is Qakbot So Dangerous?

Qakbot is a persistent threat that has continued to evolve over the years. In 2018, researchers discovered a new version of the malware that was capable of infecting servers and stealing Active Directory credentials, which are used to control access to network resources. This made it even more difficult to detect and remove, as it could spread rapidly throughout an entire network.

In addition to its ability to steal sensitive information, Qakbot can also be used to install additional malware on infected machines. This means that even if you manage to remove Qakbot, your system could still be vulnerable to other types of malware.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Qakbot?

Protecting yourself against Qakbot requires a multi-layered approach. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk:

  1. Keep your software up to date: Qakbot often takes advantage of vulnerabilities in outdated software to infect machines. By keeping your software up to date, you can reduce the risk of exploitation.
  2. Be wary of suspicious emails: Qakbot often spreads through phishing emails that contain infected attachments or links to malicious websites. If you receive an email that seems suspicious, don't click on any links or open any attachments.
  3. Use strong passwords: Qakbot is often able to steal login credentials from infected machines. By using strong, unique passwords, you can reduce the risk of your accounts being compromised.
  4. Use antivirus software: While Qakbot is able to evade some types of antivirus software, having a good antivirus program installed can still provide some protection against the malware.


Qakbot is a persistent and dangerous type of malware that continues to evolve and adapt to new security measures. By understanding how it works and taking steps to protect yourself against it, you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of this threat. Stay vigilant, stay up to date, and stay protected.