This article compiled on the official MiniTool website provides a complete review of the remote access trojan. It includes its meaning, function, adverse effects, detection, removal and methods of protection. Read the content below and understand in depth about the RAT trojan.
Remote Access Trojan Definition
What is RAT Virus?
A remote access Trojan (RAT), also called creepware, is a type of malware that controls a system over a remote network connection. It infects the target computer via a specially configured communication protocol and allows the attacker to gain unauthorized remote access to the victim.
RAT trojans are usually installed on computers without the owner’s knowledge and often as a trojan horse or payload. For example, they are usually downloaded invisibly with email attachments, torrent files, web links, or programs the user wants such as games. While targeted attacks by motivated attackers can trick the desired target into installing a fraudulent RAT through social engineering tactics, or even through temporary physical access of the desired machine.
Once inside the victim’s machine, the malware RAT will hide its malicious operations from the victim or antivirus or firewall and use the infected host to spread itself to other vulnerable computers to build a botnet.
What Does the RAT Virus Do?
Because remote access trojans allow administrative control, they can do almost anything on the victim’s machine.
- Get access to confidential info including usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and credit card accounts.
- Monitor web browsers and other computer applications for search history, emails, chat logs, etc.
- Hijack system webcam and record video.
- Monitor user activity with button loggers or spyware.
- Take a screenshot on the target PC.
- View, copy, download, edit or even delete files.
- Format the hard disk drive to delete data.
- Change computer settings.
- Distribute malware and viruses.
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Remote Access Trojan Example
Since RAT spam came into existence, there have been many different types.
The Back Orifice (BO) rootkit is one of the most well-known examples of RATs. It was created by a hacker group called Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) to demonstrate the security flaws of Microsoft’s Windows 9X series operating system (OS). The name of this RAT exploit is a quirk on Microsoft BackOffice Server software that can control multiple machines simultaneously by relying on imaging.
Back Orifice is a computer program developed for remote system administration. This allows one to control the PC from a remote location. The program debuted at DEF CON 6 on August 1, 1998. Created by Sir Dystic, a member of cDc.
While Back Orifice has a legitimate purpose, its features make it a good choice for malicious use. For this reason or another, the antivirus industry immediately ranks the tool as malware and adds it to their quarantine list.
Back Orifice has 2 sequel variants, Back Orifice 2000 released in 1999 and Deep Back Orifice by French Canadian hacking organization QHA.
Sakula, also known as Sakurel and VIPER, is another remote access trojan that first appeared in November 2012. It was used in targeted intrusions throughout 2015. Sakula allows adversaries to execute interactive commands and download and execute additional components.
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Sub7, also known as SubSeven or Sub7Server, is a RAT botnet . His name was derived by spelling NetBus backwards (suBteN) and swapping ten for seven.
Typically, Sub 7 allows undetected and unauthorized access. So, it is usually considered a trojan horse by the security industry. Sub7 works on Windows 9x and Windows NT OS families, up to and including Windows 8.1.
Sub7 has not been maintained since 2014.
PoisonIvy RAT keylogger , also called Backdoor.Darkmoon, enables keylogging, screen/video capture, system administration, file transfer, password stealing, and traffic relaying. It was designed by Chinese hackers circa 2005 and has been implemented in several prominent attacks including the Nitro attack on a chemical company and the RSA authentication tool SecurID breach, both in 2011.
DarkComet was created by Jean-Pierre Lesueur, known as DarkCoderSc, an independent programmer and computer security coder from France. Although this RAT application was developed back in 2008, it began to proliferate in early 2012.
In August 2018, DarkComet was discontinued indefinitely and its download is no longer offered on its official website. The reason is because of its use in the Syrian civil war to monitor activists as well as the fear of the author being arrested for unnamed reasons.
NanoCore RAT Will Control Your PC
Please pay attention to the NanoCore RAT as it is more dangerous than the average RAT; it will attack Windows system and get full control over that PC.
Apart from the examples above, there are many other remote access trojan programs such as CyberGate, Optix, ProRat, Shark, Turkojan, and Maelstrom. The full list of RAT tools is too long to list here and is still growing.