What is Mstask.exe

Task Scheduler Engine - Microsoft® Windows® Task Scheduler - Microsoft Corporation

File description

Mstask.exe with description Task Scheduler Engine is a process file from company Microsoft Corporation belonging to product Microsoft® Windows® Task Scheduler.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher

What is mstask.exe?
This is the Microsoft Task Scheduler Engine. It is responsible for handling the scheduled tasks list in Windows and running the tasks at the predetermined time. It is a component that is included with all recent versions of Windows.

The execution of this process is not essential to the proper operation of the system; however, it should not be removed as it is a part of the operating system. It is safe to disable the service; however, by doing so your system will not be able to perform scheduled tasks.

Dangers of mstask
As this is a part of the operating system that runs on a large portion of computers, 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 as this process but be stored somewhere other than in %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malware may use a name that appears similar to that of the legitimate one but with slight differences in spelling or with appended digits. The following malware is known to disguise itself as mstask.exe:
  • W32/Sdbot-DGM (%SystemRoot%)
    • This is a worm with backdoor Trojan functionality that spreads via known network vulnerabilities. It is capable of running various types of servers and keyloggers, and is able to steal saved passwords.
  • Troj/Mkmoose-B (%SystemRoot%\System32)
    • This is a polymorphic Trojan horse that is capable of injecting itself into other running processes.
  • W32/Antinny-H (%SystemRoot%)
    • This is worm with a payload of attempting to delete the contents of the C:/ drive twice a week.
  • W32/Opaserv-H (%SystemRoot%)
  • Adware.StartPage
  • W32/Myparty-A (%SystemRoot%\System32\msstask.exe)
    • Note the extra s in the name of this process.
There is typically only one instance of this process running at a given time on a system. The presence of multiple instances may be an indicator of a malware infection.

Common problems
  • This process starts using 100% CPU
    • The likely cause of this problem is a misbehaved scheduled task. Check your scheduled tasks list to see if a task was executing at the time you encountered the problem.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
002 Autorun registry entries local machine
010 Installed services
073 %windir%\Tasks

Digital signatures found for this file

    Certificate 
25 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
11 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
2 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service CA SW1
2 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
1 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - NO LIABILITY ACCEPTED, (c)97 VeriSign, Inc.
1 Neteye Informática Ltda - GlobalSign TSA for MS Authenticode - G1

MD5 security rating in our database

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

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of mstask.exe: by 90 files and users.

Application errors

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