Orcus RAT

Also Known As: Orcus remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Orcus virus removal guide

What is Orcus?

Orcus is a remote access trojan (RAT), programs of this type are used to remotely access or control computers. As a rule, most of these tools can be used by anyone, however, there are many cases where cyber criminals use them for malicious purposes. Usually they trick people into installing these programs and then use them to steal various information that could be used to generate revenue.

Orcus malware

Orcus is a program that can be downloaded from its website. It is promoted as sort of a TeamViewer and other programs of this type. However, it is known that it includes some illegal features such as ability to disable webcam activity light, retrieve passwords from various well-known applications, or to retrieve browser cookies. It is also capable of using microphone to record sound (any input), performing key logging (logging keystrokes) and so on. These features do not include the basic version of Orcus, however, they can be purchased for $40. Besides, it is known that this RAT is promoted on hacking forum where people can buy and sell malicious programs, exploits, hacks and other stuff of this kind. Research shows that there are cyber criminals who use spam campaigns (emails) to trick people into installing this particular tool. They send emails that are presented as letters from "Lathe and CNC Machines", as some kind of invoices. These emails include attachments that, once opened, download and install Orcus. Spam campaigns is one of the most common ways to spread various computer infections or legitimate tools such as RATs that can be used in malicious ways. If installed, this tool can be used to steal passwords, logins of various accounts, or various other, sensitive, confidential details. Some of the plugins might be capable of downloading various files, including computer infections such as ransomware. Basically, being tricked into installing this tool may result in financial loss, issues with privacy, computer infections and other serious problems. If installed, this tool might be disguised as some other application running in the system's background. In our example (screenshot) above it runs as a "PK Holdings.exe" process in the Task Manager.

Threat Summary:
Name Orcus remote access trojan
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware, Remote access trojan
Detection Names (s01v1.exe) Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.MSIL.Bladabindi.1), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of MSIL/TrojanDropper.Agent.EEB), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Generic), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) PK Holdings.exe
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet, system manipulation, potential computer infections.

To eliminate Orcus remote access trojan our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

There is a great number of various remote access trojans (RATs), a couple of examples are Agent Tesla, Imminent Monitor, H-Worm and CrimsonRAT. Quite often these tools are legitimate, however, they can be used by cyber criminals who have malicious intents. If a tool of this type was not installed on purpose and there is a reason to believe that there is one installed, it should be uninstalled as soon as possible.

How did Orcus infiltrate my computer?

As we mentioned above, one of the ways to cause computer infections is using spam campaigns, emails that have some files attached to them (or include web links that lead to infected files). Typically, these files are Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, PDF documents, executables (.exe files), archives like RAR, ZIP and so on. If opened, these files download and install malicious programs. Other ways to proliferate viruses are: Trojans, unofficial/fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download channels and software 'cracking' tools. Trojans are malicious programs that usually are designed to download and install other programs of this kind. If installed, they cause chain infections/spread various viruses. Fake software updaters are tools that cause computer infections instead of updating installed programs. In some cases they cause them by exploiting bugs, flaws of some outdated software. Freeware download and free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule (and other programs of this kind), unofficial pages and other questionable software download channels can be used to spread malicious programs too. Cyber criminals present infected files as normal, legitimate and harmless. However, once downloaded and opened/executed, they install malware. People use software 'cracking' tools to bypass paid activations of installed software or operating systems. However, these tools can be designed to spread computer infections as well. Instead of activating programs they download and install malicious programs.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Irrelevant emails should be ignored, especially if they are received from unknown, suspicious addresses and contain web links or attached files. Software should be downloaded using only official websites and direct links, and not some other tools that we mentioned above. Software updates should be made using official tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Paid software should not be activated using various third party tools, usage of these tools is a cyber crime. Besides, cyber criminals often employ them to proliferate computer infections. It is also important to have a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus suite installed and to keep it enabled at all times. Without these programs computers become really vulnerable to various computer infections. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Spam campaign (email) used to distribute Orcus RAT:

email used to prolifetate orcus remote access tool

Text presented within this email:

Dear Sir Madam, Good day!
We are trading company in Taiwan with business line of Lathe and CNC Machines, ELECTRICAL, BOLT & NUTS in this regard, Please kindly refer to the following items and offer your best quotation as soon as possible, thank you.
1. C.I.F Kaohsiung Port Taiwan

2. By air .1 By sea separately

3. Do you need photo of name plate for this Machines Attached?
Kindly revert with price asap. Attached is Our Operating Certificate / License and Order for Specification and references
If you have any question, don't hesitate to contact me.
Best Regards

Amy Wu

Sales Manager


55 Chin Shan South Road Sec. 2

Taipei, Taiwan 10603 TAIWAN, R. 0. C.

Please to consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Administration panel of the Orcus RAT:

orcus rat administration panel

Instant automatic removal of Orcus remote access trojan: 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 Orcus remote access trojan. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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.