The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the ctfmon.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.
The process known as CTF Loader or eMule or Cicero Loader or Sun Java update scheduler or SoBit Mail Service or Microsoft Office Word or Shareaza Ultimate File Sharing
belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or eMule or Microsoft® Windows NT® Operating System or wsgta or Microsoft Office Professional Edition (version 2003) or Family Keylogger or jusched.exe or Microsoft Office (version 2003)
by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) or http://www.emule-project.net or Sun MicroSystems (www.sun.com) or Shareaza Development Team (www.shareaza.com) or SoBit.
Description: The original ctfmon.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The ctfmon.exe file is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 15,360 bytes (77% of all occurrences), 30,208 bytes and 80 more variants.
The program is not visible. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, User Shell Folders, MACHINE\User Shell Folders, Winlogon\Shell, MACHINE\RunServices, Userinit, RunOnce, MACHINE\RunOnce). Ctfmon.exe is a Microsoft signed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 33% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify ctfmon.exe related errors
Is ctfmon.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true ctfmon.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "CTF Loader".
However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are such as Worm:Win32/Fakerecy.A or Virus:Win32/Virut.BI (detected by Microsoft), and Trojan.Win32.VB.aqt or Worm.Win32.VB.xb (detected by Kaspersky).
To ensure that no rogue ctfmon.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.
How to recognize suspicious variants?
External information from Paul Collins:
Important: Some malware camouflages itself as ctfmon.exe. Therefore, you should check the ctfmon.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with ctfmon. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.
Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.
To help you analyze the ctfmon.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.