What is Mmc.exe

Microsoft Management Console - Microsoft® Windows® Operating System - Microsoft Corporation

File description

Mmc.exe with description Microsoft Management Console is a process file from company Microsoft Corporation belonging to product Microsoft® Windows® Operating System.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher

What is mmc.exe?
Mmc.exe, or the Microsoft Management Console, is responsible for displaying system management plugins. These include the Device Manager and the Event Viewer.

The existence of this process is essential to the proper operation of the system; however, it does not need to be running. Note that by killing this process, any system management plugins will close. The following screenshot illustrates how it should appear in the Task Manager:



As you can see in the above screenshot, mmc.exe typically runs as the current user (in this case, Mike). A process with this name that is running as another user may be indicative of a malware infection.

Dangers of mmc
As this is an executable that is included with Windows that runs whenever the Device Manager (and other control panels) is opened, it is common for virus writers and spyware vendors to disguise their malware as the genuine one.

Some malicious files may have the same name but be stored somewhere other than in %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malware may 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 the genuine mmc.exe:
  • W32/Dzan-A (%SystemRoot)
    • This is a backdoor Trojan that allows a remote attacker to take control of an infected system.
  • W32/Oscabot-I (%SystemRoot%\inisys.exe)
    • This is a worm that spreads via instant messaging applications. It creates a registry entry with the name "mmc.exe".
  • W32/Lovgate-F (%SystemRoot% or other locations)
    • This is a mass-mailing worm that can also spread via network vulnerabilities. This worm copies itself to several locations on the computer, making it difficult to eliminate.
There may be more than one instance of this process running at a given time on a system. The presence of multiple instances is not an indicator of a malware infection.

Common problems
  • "mmc.exe - Application Error"
    • According to Microsoft, "this can occur if the director search cache refers to objects in a module that has been unloaded when the global cache's deconstructor is called." To fix it, install the hotfix from Microsoft's knowledge base article 831885.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
003 Autorun registry entries Current User
004 All users startup startmenu
005 Current user startup startmenu
010 Installed services
034 Winlogon Shell
073 %windir%\Tasks
136 Local Machine Runonce (+subkeys)
212 MyComputer\DefragPath

Digital signatures found for this file

    Certificate 
44 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
22 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
14 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
9 Microsoft Windows - Microsoft Time-Stamp Service
5 Microsoft Windows XP Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
4 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
3 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
1 Microsoft Windows - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
1 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service CA SW1
1 Microsoft Windows XP Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
1 Microsoft Windows - Microsoft Timestamping Service

MD5 security rating in our database

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

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of mmc.exe: by 259 files and users.

Application errors

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

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