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What’s telnet.exe (Microsoft Telnet Client)? Is it safe or a virus?

Telnet.exe (Microsoft Telnet Client) is a command-line utility provided by Microsoft Windows that allows users to establish a connection to a remote computer or server using the Telnet protocol. This utility can be used to remotely access and manage other computers on a network, troubleshoot network connectivity issues, and perform various administrative tasks.

Users can use telnet.exe to initiate a text-based session with a remote host and execute commands on that host as if they were physically present. It provides a simple and efficient means of remotely accessing and controlling other computers over a network. However, telnet.exe is now considered a security risk due to its plain-text communication, and it is recommended to use more secure protocols like SSH instead.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about telnet.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes telnet.exe (Microsoft Telnet Client)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of telnet.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is telnet.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the telnet.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find telnet.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 3, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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