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How To Get Rid of Minecraft Malware and Stay Safe While Playing Minecraft

As an avid Minecraft player, you may have heard recent reports about malware being distributed through Minecraft mods. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about identifying, removing, and avoiding Minecraft malware like the Fractureiser virus.

What Is Minecraft Malware and How Does It Spread?

Minecraft malware refers to malicious software programs that are designed to infect players‘ computers through modified Minecraft files. One infamous example is the Fractureiser virus that was found hidden in thousands of Minecraft mods uploaded to the popular site CurseForge.

Over 6,500 infected mods were downloaded by players before being detected. But how did this malware get into players‘ mods in the first place?

Cybersecurity analysts have found that Fractureiser and other Minecraft malware are usually spread through:

  • Compromised User Accounts: Hackers break into mod developer accounts and upload infected mods using their credentials.

  • Malicious Ads: Some sites hosting Minecraft mods use ads laced with malware that gets installed when clicked.

  • Fake Mods: Malware is bundled with mods disguised as popular ones and uploaded to third-party sites.

  • Infected Launchers: Custom launchers like TLauncher have been known to contain embedded malware.

Once installed through these vectors, Minecraft malware like Fractureiser can quickly infect other files and spread through the system.

Specific Dangers of Minecraft Malware

Minecraft malware might seem like a nuisance for losing your game progress or ranks. But security researchers have found that it can do serious damage:

  • Steal Credentials: By stealing cookies and login info, hackers can access your online accounts for identity theft.

  • Take Over Accounts: Your compromised accounts can be used to distribute more malware and for financial fraud.

  • Replace Crypto Wallets: It swaps out legitimate crypto wallet addresses for fraudulent ones to steal funds.

  • Damage System Files: The malware can infect critical operating system files leading to crashes and data loss.

  • Brick Hardware: In rare cases, some malware permanently damages the hard drive, motherboard, or other components.

  • Hide In Firmware: Advanced threats can embed themselves at firmware or BIOS level becoming almost impossible to remove.

According to research by ESET, roughly 25% of all malware infections in 2022 were from video game-related threats. So Minecraft malware is definitely something you need to take seriously.

Warning Signs You May Have Minecraft Malware

If you suspect your system may be infected, look out for these common warning signs of Minecraft malware:

  • Unfamiliar new files or .JAR files appearing in your /.minecraft folder

  • Increased lag, crashes, or glitches while playing Minecraft

  • New browser toolbars, extensions, or programs popping up unexpectedly

  • Antivirus getting disabled or flagged as malware itself

  • Login issues or unauthorized password changes on online accounts

  • Cryptocurrency transactions you didn‘t make draining your wallet

You can also manually check if any of your installed mods match the list of compromised files shared by CurseForge.

How to Remove an Infected Minecraft Mod or Malware

If your antivirus detects malware or you find an infected mod, here are the steps to clean it up properly:

  1. Disconnect From the Internet: This prevents remote communication with malware servers.

  2. Boot in Safe Mode: Start your PC in Safe Mode to prevent malware from running at boot.

  3. Run a Full Antivirus Scan: Use a trusted AV like Malwarebytes to find and quarantine threats.

  4. Wipe Infected Mods: Check CurseForge‘s list and delete any compromised mods.

  5. Reset Browser Settings: Reset browsers like Chrome and Firefox to default to clear malware.

  6. Change All Passwords: Pick new strong passwords for online accounts that were potentially compromised.

  7. Use Anti-Malware Tools: Run anti-malware tools like HitmanPro to clean up leftover registry entries.

  8. Update Your Software: Install the latest OS, Java, browser, and antivirus updates which patch vulnerabilities.

Following these steps eliminates any active malware on your system, but you still need to take precautions for the future.

Best Antivirus for Protecting Against Minecraft Malware

To block the installation of malware from Minecraft mods in the future, use a reputable antivirus program like:

  • Norton 360: Blocks viruses, monitors network traffic, and has fast threat detection.

  • Bitdefender Antivirus: Provides real-time scanning and machine learning to stop zero-day threats.

  • Kaspersky Internet Security: Uses heuristic analysis to detect suspicious behavior and ransomware.

  • Malwarebytes Premium: Scans thoroughly for deeply embedded and dormant malware.

  • ESET NOD32: Has cloud-based malware intelligence to protect against new threats.

Always keep real-time scanning enabled and your virus definitions updated to catch malware before it can spread.

Tips to Improve Safety While Using Minecraft Mods

Here are some pro tips to enhance your security while downloading Minecraft mods:

  • Only use trusted mod sites like CurseForge and Modrinth which vet uploads.

  • Check the uploader‘s reputation – mods from established creators are safer.

  • Scan files with your AV before installing any mod.

  • Install mods individually instead of bundles to isolate any malware.

  • Consider using a sandboxed mod manager like MultiMC to limit malware impact.

  • Never download mods or resource packs from unofficial sites or torrents.

  • Use a firewall to monitor network traffic.

  • Make regular backups of your .minecraft folder in case malware corrupts it.

  • Keep your operating system, antivirus, Java, and apps fully updated.

Following basic precautions goes a long way in avoiding infection from Minecraft malware.

Frequently Asked Questions about Minecraft Malware

Is TLauncher Safe to Use?

No, TLauncher is an open-source Minecraft launcher known to contain adware and other malware. It allows playing pirated copies of Minecraft which are often infected. Avoid using it.

Can My Minecraft Account Get Hacked from Malware?

Yes, one of the main goals of Minecraft malware is to steal your account credentials and session cookies so hackers can log in as you. Enable two-factor authentication on your Mojang account to secure it.

Do Infected Servers Spread Malware to Players?

Unpatched and poorly configured Minecraft servers can contain malware in add-ons that spreads to connecting players. Server owners should install security plugins like LogBlock and frequently check for infections.

Can Factory Resetting Remove Embedded Malware?

While factory resetting your PC may wipe standard malware, sophisticated threats can embed themselves deep in the system firmware. You need to properly disinfect malware first before resetting your device.

Is Minecraft Safe on Consoles and Mobiles?

Currently Minecraft malware only affects Windows computers as that‘s the platform where users can install arbitrary mods. However, it‘s still smart to avoid installing random untrusted content on any device.

In Summary

Recent malware discoveries have shocked the Minecraft community but shouldn‘t prevent you from enjoying Minecraft safely. Just be cautious when installing mods, use trusted sites, run antivirus scans, keep software updated and follow basic security practices.

This guide has given you in-depth knowledge on how Minecraft malware works, how to remove infections and strengthen your security. Stay vigilant and don‘t let cyber threats ruin your Minecraft fun!


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.