Many things are changing and adapting in this time period, from Pokemon to automobiles to medicine to technology, all for the better. Threats, on the other hand, are inescapable. Hackers are always adapting and improving.
To get to you, they’ve come up with innovative ways to do it.
Programs that appear to be authentic on your PC have been produced by them. They use a variety of techniques to hide the virus they send out into the wild.
For instance, the COM surrogate can be used. To run extensions, the COM surrogate was created as a Windows 10 sacrifice process. That information may be gleaned from the Windows task manager.
If you find the COM surrogate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an infected computer. This article is all about how you kill the COM surrogate.
What Is “COM Surrogate” (dllhost.exe), and Why Is It Running on My PC?
Component Object Model (COM) surrogate might be a dangerous variant of COM (COM). In order for Windows to function, it needs a file called the COM. The COM’s primary function is to monitor and generate Windows COM objects.
The hostile version, on the other hand, is full of nefarious schemes. A long time ago, hackers came up with the notion of hiding Trojan horses in plain sight.
For this reason, the dllhost.exe in question The dllhost.exe 32 COM surrogate malware is then referred to as such. Using this method, hackers are able to get access to computers and steal data, as well as money. Yes, we are dealing with a really grave danger.
Hackers aren’t the first to make a move like this. Users are led to believe that the COM surrogate is a standard executable because of this deception. There are a lot of hackers out there who don’t want you to realize that executables might be infected with malware.
Separating Malicious executables from the Legitimate ones
It is impossible for us to locate the malicious exe files and the legit ones. But this can be done by scanning your computer with an anti-malware security scanner at the file’s location –
C:\Windows\System32. The Windows folder keeps all the data needed for the smooth functioning of the system. System 32 is the folder where the DLL files are located on your disk.
The Symptoms of a COM Surrogate virus presence
These are the possible symptoms that would be displayed by your computer if it contradicts a COM surrogate virus or malware.
- A number of COM surrogate applications may be running in the task manager. You never know what you’ll find.
- The COM objects might use up a significant portion of your CPU’s resources. CPU memory is used by every type of malicious software.
- System performance might be affected. It’s possible that the infection is causing the issue.
- Programs that are currently running are crashing over and over. You may get a message that reads, “This program has stopped working” The virus may be to blame.
If you experience any of the above, run a full system scan with antivirus software.
To remove the COM surrogate virus from your computer, one has to understand what the COM surrogate process is and what it does.
How does the COM surrogate work?
The moniker “COM Surrogate” may have appeared in the task manager on your computer at some point. The dllhost.exe process is an essential feature of the Windows OS and runs as part of the dllhost.exe file. Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 are all the same in this regard.
Microsoft created this interface many years ago to attach and expand other processes on your system. Windows’ file explorer, for example, generates thumbnails for photos, folders, and videos using COM objects.
Thumbnail creation is under the watchful eye of this specific COM object. There is an issue with thumbnails if this COM object fails. When this process was paused too frequently, engineers came up with the COM surrogate process as a solution.
With the aid of this COM surrogate process, you may start another COM object. For example, File Explorer uses a COM surrogate process to produce thumbnails. Only the COM surrogate will be affected if this is crashed. As long as File Explorer is open, nothing will be lost.
Is the COM Surrogate process a Virus?
The COM Surrogate processes are just a part of the Operating System and not viruses. But they can be manipulated to be harnessed by malware. Most malware uses dllhost.exe to infiltrate and corrupt the system.
If you notice anything suspicious about these processes, like high CPU usage, There are chances that it is malware. You have to scan your computer with antivirus software. If you do not have one, this is your reminder to download an anti-virus and run a full scan, just to be safe.
Can the COM surrogate be disabled?
No. The COM surrogate Windows process is an integral part of the OS. If this was disabled, a lot of COM objects might not function. These were created by one program to run another program. So even when you try to disable it through the task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), you cannot do it.
It was attempted to disable it by selecting the active COM surrogate process and clicking on the End Task button in the task manager. But the COM surrogate process popped up again when the task manager opened it again. Therefore, it is proved that the OS doesn’t let you kill it, even if you want to.
Note: This experiment resulted in the same outcome for Windows 7, Windows 8, and also Windows 10.
How to Remove COM Surrogate from your system files
You will want to remove the malware infections immediately when you notice that your computer has malware infestations. This is something you have to look into and fix it at once unless you are okay with your confidential files being outed by an illegal cyber threat.
This is how Windows users can remove the COM surrogate virus from running.
Step 1. Identify the COM Surrogate Virus using an Antivirus
The first step in the removal of the COM surrogate virus is finding the location of the infected file in a folder on your disk. You can not find it without the help of antivirus software.
You will have to run a full system scan of your storage disk. This scan can easily take between 2 to 4 hours based on the size and number of files you have on your computer.
Do not cancel or stop the scan once you notice the infected file that you wish to remove. Once the scan is complete, dangerous files will be located and put in quarantine.
Step 2. Remove the COM Surrogate Virus Infection and Delete Any Other Infected Files
Once the scan is finished, you will be able to see a list of all the suspicious and infected files being quarantined. You can delete them, or if you know about viruses and antivirus on an advanced level, you can take a look at the files before they are deleted to retain the safe files.
Once you are done, restart your computer for the changes to be applied. For safety, run another complete scan. This can remove traces that may have stuck behind.
Step 3. Don’t let your computer be re-infected
If you did the steps above, your computer had malware infections before. It happened once, and it can happen again. It is the responsibility of the users to make sure that your system remains safe.
These are the steps for the removal of the infestations. The removal of any threat is essential to your system.
How to prevent from getting COM surrogate virus
This is how you can protect your system by preventing the COM surrogate or any other malware from affecting your Windows system.
- All your Drivers, Software, and Operating systems must be up-to-date. The latest software means you are protected from the latest threats.
- Watch out for suspicious links and downloads on the internet. These downloads can be dangerous. Keep your eyes peeled for downloads that happen without your actions.
- Protect your wireless internet connection. If you use a wireless connection, it is important that you secure it. Anyone who can connect to it can access many things. So, it is important not to let everyone be connected to it.
- Get an Antivirus for your system. An antivirus can save you a lot of danger and protect you from threats automatically. It will save you a lot of trouble if you download one. Proper software might cost you, but it is worth it.
These instructions are not just to keep the COM surrogate virus away from your computer. Following the above instructions can protect your Windows desktop from any kind of malware.
What should you do when a COM Surrogate doesn’t work?
This is what you should do when you do not see the COM surrogate process in your task manager.
1. Download a media codec to your computer.
A media codec can help in kickstarting a COM surrogate process and also in improving its processing.
2. Purchase or Update your Antivirus tool.
If you haven’t got one, please purchase an Antivirus tool to protect your computer. If you have one already, make sure you have the latest version of it. If not, update it for maximum security.
3. Close the COM surrogate through the Task Manager.
You might have received a message that says, “The action can’t be completed because the file is open in COM surrogate.” when you attempt to change the picture data. To resolve this issue, you can close the COM object. This is how it is done.
- Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys on your keyboard simultaneously to launch the task manager.
- Locate the COM surrogate from the list of running programs. Select it and end the process.
If you cannot find the COM object,
- Click on the Details tab in the task manager and find the dllhost.exe.
- Right-click the executable to trigger a pop-up menu. From this menu, choose End Task.
Once these steps are done, check if the issue has been fixed.
4. Using the Process Monitor to locate the Issue
You might have a media file that might be corrupt and cause trouble to the COM object. This can be found with the Process Monitor on a computer. As the initial step, the thumbnail has to be disabled. This is how you do it.
- Type in File Explorer Options in the search bar and open it.
- In the Explorer window, click on the View tab.
- In the advanced settings section, check the Always show icons, never thumbnails checkbox.
- Click on Apply and then click on Ok.
Once the Explorer work is done, you will have to remove the previously existing thumbnails.
- In the search bar, type in Disk Cleanup and open it.
- A disk checking process runs, and the Disk Cleanup window opens. If your hard drive is partitioned, you will have to select the drive which has the thumbnails in it. If not, you’re good.
- In the ‘Files to delete list, check the Thumbnails checkbox.
- Click Ok to delete the thumbnails.
The next few steps involve the Process Monitor, which you have to download. The Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring software for your Windows device.
- Run the procmon and locate the media file which the dllhost.exe is trying to access.
- Remove that file with the process manager.
- Turn the Thumbnails back on.
5. Register DLL files again
- Launch your Command Prompt as an admin.
- In the command prompt window, type in these two commands. Enter the second one when the first command is carried out.
- regsvr32 vbscript.dll
- regsvr32 jscript.dll
6. Check if the hard drive is functioning properly
If not for the other solutions, your hard drive may have faced crashes instead. Users have to check their hard drive for problems to make sure that it is functioning properly.
- Launch This PC.
- Right-click on the drive that you wish to take a look at and click on Properties.
- In the Tools tab of the drive’s properties window, click on the Check button.
The hard drive gets troubleshot, and the users will be notified if a problem is detected.
8. Remove the latest drivers
If the users notice that you had started facing problems right after installing a new driver, the removal of the driver is advised, just to be safe.
- Click Start and open the Control Panel.
- Open the Device Manager.
- Locate the driver that might have caused the problems.
- Right-click on it and select Uninstall device.
- Check the Delete the software for this device checkbox and click Uninstall.
- Restart the computer once the driver gets uninstalled.
9. Adding the surrogate to the Execution Prevention Exclusion list
- Type Advanced Search Settings in the search bar. Open View Advanced Search Settings from the search results.
- Under the Advanced tab, in the Performance section, click on the Settings button.
- Select the Data Execution Prevention Tab.
- Click on the small circle next to the Turn on DEP for all programs except those I select.
- Select add and Open file location (C:\ Windows \ System32) and select the dllhost.exe file.
These are a few resolutions that can be done if something doesn’t work, in Windows 10.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does COM Surrogate mean?
The COM surrogate is a process that enables other processes to run on the computer. This is very vulnerable and can be used as a camouflage for a threat that could infiltrate your device.
Can I kill the COM surrogate?
No, the COM surrogate cannot be killed. You cannot kill these processes; they start again when the task manager is opened again. Also, programs need it.
How many COM surrogates should be running?
Under normal circumstances, there could be any number of COM surrogate processes varying from 1 to 15 at any point in time.
Is COM Surrogate a virus infection?
No, the COM surrogate is not a virus infection. It is just a process that can be used by malware to blend in with system files.
Where is the COM Surrogate located?
The COM surrogate is located in the System32 folder on a Windows Computer. This folder has all the exe and DLL files that are essential for the functioning of Windows 10.