Remove BalkanRAT and BalkanDoor trojans

Also Known As: Balkan toolset
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

BalkanRAT virus removal guide

What is BalkanRAT?

BalkanRAT is the name of a malicious program that cyber criminals distribute together with another program of this kind called BalkanDoor. BalkanRAT, as its name suggests, is a remote access trojan (RAT) that, if installed on victim's computer, allows cyber criminals to control it remotely. BalkanDoor is a backdoor trojan which allows cyber criminals to control infected computers through a command line. If a virus detection engine has detected presence of BalkanRAT or/and BalkanDoor on the operating system, they should be removed immediately.

BalkanRAT malware

Typically, cyber criminals spread BalkanRAT and BalkanDoor together. When both of them are installed on the computer, cyber criminals can control infected systems both via command-line and graphical interface. BalkanRAT is designed to install a copy of the Remote Utilities software, a remote access/administration tool. Cyber criminals can use this tool to monitor activity of the victim by broadcasting the screen of the infected computer. It is known that this software can be used to log keystrokes, in other words, to record pressed keys. Cyber criminals can use this feature to steal logins, passwords and other credentials of various personal, important accounts related to banking, emails, social networks and so on. Stolen details could be used for espionage or to perform fraudulent activities such as money transactions, digital signings of various contracts and so on. It is known that BalkanRAT is capable of installing a tool that can use (steal) available smart cards that are issued by banks or governments too. Basically, cyber criminals use obtained (stolen) information to generate as much revenue as possible which can cause victims privacy issues, financial loss and other serious problems. BalkanDoor can be used to download and execute files, create remote shells, take screenshots and automate tasks. Once this trojan is installed, it connects to the C&C (command and control) server and then allows cyber criminals to perform various actions through it. BalkanDoor can be used to download and install other malicious software such as ransomware. Ransomware-type programs are designed to prevent victims from accessing their files by encrypting them with strong encryption algorithms. Typically, in order to be able to access their files again victims are force to pay a ransom. However, BalkanDoor could be used to install other malware too, for example, various baking trojans, spyware and so on. To sum up, both BalkanDoor and BalkanRAT trojans can cause victims financial or data loss, problems wit privacy, identity theft and other trouble. These programs, if detected by a virus detection engine (anti-virus software), should be removed immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Balkan toolset
Threat Type Remote access trojan, backdoor trojan
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Balkan.E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/BalkanRAT.A), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Kaskitya.ax), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) Ponovljeni-Stav.exe
Payload Remote Utilities remote access/administration tool, various malicious programs.
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, WinRAR ACE vulnerability (CVE-2018-20250)
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, downloads of other malware.
Removal

To eliminate Balkan toolset 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 are many other remote access trojans (or legitimate remote access tools that are used for malicious purposes) on the Internet, some examples are Poison Ivy, NetWire and Quasar. Either way, when used/misused by cyber criminals, they can cause a lot of trouble to people who have their computer infected with them. Most of the times cyber criminals use them to steal details or perform actions that would help them to generate income. It is important to remove tools of this type the second they were detected.

How did BalkanRAT infiltrate my computer?

It is known that cyber criminals spread BalkanRAT and BalkanDoor through spam campaigns (emails). These trojans get downloaded and installed through website links that are disguised as addresses of official, legitimate institutions. When clicked, these links lead to executable files that are disguised as important, official PDF documents. Executable files are RAR self-extractors that are designed to silently install either BalkanDoor or BalkanRAT. Research shows that cyber criminals distribute them through ACE archive files that are disguised as RARs and designed to exploit the WinRAR ACE vulnerability known as CVE-2018-20250. It is known that this vulnerability is often used to distribute various malicious software because it does not require executing the downloaded file.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments or web links that are presented in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses, even it emails or files attached to them are presented as official. Do not download or install software (or files) through tools like third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, free file hosting or freeware download pages and so on. We recommend to use only official pages for that. Update software with tools that are provided by official software developers. Do not activate it via unofficial tools: 'cracking' tools are illegal and often lead to installations of malware. Always keep installed anti-virus or anti-spyware software enabled and scan the system with it regularly. 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 BalkanRAT:

Malicious attachment distributing BalkanRAT

Malicious BalkanRAT process ("Ponovljeni-Stav.exe") in Task Manager:

BalkanRAT malicious process in Task Manager

Instant automatic removal of Balkan toolset: 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 Balkan toolset. 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.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Balkan toolset QR code
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Platform: Windows

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