ExileRat Trojan

Also Known As: ExileRat remote access tool
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

ExileRat virus removal guide

What is ExileRat?

ExileRat is a trojan-type remote access tool distributed by cyber criminals. At the time of research, cyber criminals have proliferated ExileRat by using email spam campaign that targets only Tibetan Supporters. The deceptive email contains a malicious Microsoft PowerPoint document which, once opened injects ExileRat into the system by exploiting Microsoft Office's vulnerability.

ExileRat malware

As mentioned above, ExileRat is a remote access tool (RAT) which allows to remotely perform various actions on the infected system, steal various information and download/upload various files. Immediately after infiltrating, ExileRat gathers computer's name, username, network adapter details, driver info, IP address and geo-location. All gathered data is saved in a remote server. Now presence of a remote access tool (which is controlled by cyber criminals) can cause a variety of issues. First of all, these persons may steal various personal files, such as videos, photos, and other data that can be compromising. After gaining such data, cyber criminals can blackmail victims by asking to pay money otherwise they'll spread stolen material over the Internet. On top of that, these persons might steal various account credentials and monitor user's web browsing activity. By gaining access to bank, email, social network, and other personal accounts cyber criminals might cause significant financial losses, as well as serious privacy issues. Moreover, since crooks can perform various actions on the system and download various data, presence of ExileRat may lead to further computer infections (e.g., ransomware or cryptominers). In summary, ExileRat might not seem dangerous on the first glance, however, it's presence can be fatal to the system - you might lose stored data permanently, your hardware may be damaged, you can lose money and your identity might be stolen.

ExileRat shares many similarities to a number of other remote access tools distributed by cyber criminals. The list of examples includes (but it is not limited to) Nymeria, Remcos, NanoCore, and RMS. Although these applications are different and are distributed by different crooks, all of them pose the exact same threats to the user. Cyber criminals can use them to steal information, infiltrate other malware, and so on so forth. Therefore, elimination is paramount.

How did ExileRat infiltrate my computer?

As mentioned above, paavadinimas is distributed using email spam campaigns. It is, however, worth mentioning that at the time of research crooks were targeting only CTA (Central Tibetian Administartion). In other words, the list of emails that spam was sent to belongs only to the CTA. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that the situation won't eventually change and that crooks will target regular users or other companies/organizations. Once opened, the malicious PowerPoint document abuses Microsoft Office's vulnerability (CVE-2017-0199) in order to download and execute a JavaScript file. This file downloads an executable called "syshost.exe", drops it in the "%AppData%" folder and runs it. This executable creates a scheduled task called "Diagnostic_System_Host" which runs ExileRat on each user login.

How to avoid installation of malware?

In order to prevent this situation users must firstly realize that lack of knowledge and reckless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to it's safety is caution. Hence, paying close attention when browsing the Internet is a must. Always think twice before opening email attachments. If the file is irrelevant and/or the sender looks suspicious - do not open any attached link/file. Note that crooks often use deceptive messages in order to abuse users' curiosity. They send emails stating that recipient has won a lottery, received a package, or something else for free. Therefore, you should never fall for it. On top of that, always have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running - these tools are very helpful when it comes to cyber security, because they're more than likely to detect and remove malware before it harms the system. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Malicious attachment distributing ExileRat:

Malicious attachment distributing ExileRat

Instant automatic removal of ExileRat remote access tool: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of ExileRat remote access tool. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using  Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here's an example of a suspicious program running on user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager and identified a program that looks suspicious you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't run automatically on the next system startup) you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the file of the malware be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.