What is Iexplore.exe

Internet Explorer - Windows® Internet Explorer - Microsoft Corporation

File description

Iexplore.exe with description Internet Explorer is a process file from company Microsoft Corporation belonging to product Windows® Internet Explorer.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Time-Stamp Service
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Corporation

What is iexplore.exe?
Iexplore.exe is the process for Microsoft Internet Explorer. The following is a screenshot of Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP:

This process is a nonessential process and can safely be killed. By killing it, however, one or more Internet Explorer windows will be closed and any data within lost. The screenshot below illustrates how this process should appear in the task manager:

In the above screenshot, iexplore.exe is running as the current user (Mike); it is typically not run as SYSTEM or any other user.

Dangers of iexplore
As this is a common legitimate process, it is common for virus writers and spyware vendors to disguise their malware as the genuine Internet Explorer.

Some malicious files will have the same name as this process but will be stored somewhere other than in %ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer. Other malware will use a name that appears similar to it but with slight differences in spelling or with appended digits. The following malware is known to disguise itself as iexplore.exe:
  • W32/Forbot-AG (%SystemRoot%\System32)
    • This is a worm and backdoor Trojan that connects to a remote IRC server to allow an attacker to take control of a compromised system.
  • W32/Spybot-V (%SystemRoot%\System32)
    • This is a backdoor Trojan that spreads over peer-to-peer networks.
  • W32/Mytob-CH (%SystemRoot%\System32\iexplorer.exe)
    • This is an IRC backdoor Trojan that allows a remote attacker to take over an infected system.
  • W32/Rbot-EZ (%SystemRoot%\System32)
There is often multiple instances of this process running at a given time. The presence of multiple instances is not an indicator of a malware infection. Note that this process should not be running if you are not running Internet Explorer. If it is, your system may be infected with malware.

Common problems
  • Internet Explorer uses 100% CPU time
    • This can be caused by a spyware infection. Scan your system for spyware.
    • This problem can also be caused by a misbehaved plugin. Uninstall plugins one by one until the problem goes away.
  • My Internet Explorer homepage suddenly changed!
    • This is a sign of a spyware/adware infection. Perform a scan and remove any spyware or adware that is found.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
002 Autorun registry entries local machine
003 Autorun registry entries Current User
004 All users startup startmenu
005 Current user startup startmenu
006 Start Menu\Programs\Startup
007 Roaming Start Menu\Programs\Startup
008 Autorun registry entries Default user
010 Installed services
013 RunOnce registry entries S-1-5-XX users
033 Winlogon Userinit
034 Winlogon Shell
035 Active Setup Installed Components
042 HKLM Internet Explorer Extensions
043 HKCU Internet Explorer Extensions
065 Image File Execution Options (debugger)
073 %windir%\Tasks
135 Current User Runonce (+ subkeys)
136 Local Machine Runonce (+subkeys)
137 Current User RunonceEx (+ subkeys)
153 HKLM Drivers32\Midi
166 HKCU Policies\Explorer\Run
167 HKLM Policies\Explorer\Run
191 Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Digital signatures found for this file

338 Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Time-Stamp Service
51 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
49 Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Timestamping Service
39 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
22 Microsoft Windows XP Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
15 Microsoft Windows - Microsoft Timestamping Service
10 Microsoft Windows XP Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
9 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
6 Microsoft Windows - Microsoft Time-Stamp Service
6 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
5 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
4 Microsoft Windows - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
2 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service CA SW1
2 Windows Component Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
1 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - NO LIABILITY ACCEPTED, (c)97 VeriSign, Inc.

MD5 security rating in our database

788 files (Not yet rated and not signed)
25 files (Not yet rated and digitally signed)
10 files (Safe and not signed)
585 files (Safe and digitally signed)
Some versions of this filename have not yet been checked for safety.
Warning: Some malware might rename itself to iexplore.exe. Always make sure that your file is from a verified publisher.

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of iexplore.exe: by 1408 files and users.

Application errors

Fix iexplore.exe application error:  Run a FREE registry scan

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More system processes

iexplore.sys iexplore32.sys iexploree.dll
iexploree.exe iexplorehp.exe iexploreomeaw.dll
iexplorer.dll iexplorer.dll.exe iexplorer.exe
iexplorere.exe iexplorermime.dll iexplorers.exe

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