How to prevent installation of AsyncRAT?

Also Known As: Async remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

AsyncRAT virus removal guide

What is AsyncRAT?

AsyncRAT is the name of a remote access (or administration) tool (RAT). RATs are used to control computers remotely, typically for educational, technical support purposes. However, there are many cases where cyber criminals try to trick people into installing tools of this type so they could perform various actions on victim's computer that would help them to generate revenue in one or another way. Typically, cyber criminals attempt to steal personal, sensitive details or infect computers with other malware. Either way, programs like AsyncRAT can be used to cause serious problems, they should be uninstalled as soon as possible.

AsyncRAT malware

One of the features available in AsyncRAT is that it can be used to open various websites, including malicious ones. Also, cyber criminals could use it to send various files, for example, executable files that, if opened, would install malicious software. Simply said, AsyncRAT can be used to spread malware such as ransomware, trojans and other malicious programs. Furthermore, it allows to monitor computing activities, access and manage various files (including personal documents), start and end processes. It is known that this RAT can be used as a keylogger too. Keylogging feature could be used to record keystrokes, simply said, to log/record keys struck on a keyboard. Typically, cyber criminals use this feature steal logins and passwords of email, banking and other personal accounts. They use stolen accounts to generate revenue in various ways. Stolen banking accounts can be used to make fraudulent transactions, stolen email accounts could be used to spread malware by sending emails that contain malicious attachments, send scam emails and so on. Stolen accounts could be used to extract money from other people (family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc.) too. Either way, logged keystrokes can be used to generate revenue by causing users of infected computers or other people financial loss. Furthermore, AsyncRAT can be used to put malicious programs into USB drives and spread them on other computers. To sum up, AsyncRAT is powerful enough to cause computer infections, financial loss, steal sensitive details (cause problems with privacy), unwanted downloads, installations and so on. If this RAT was not installed intentionally, we strongly recommend to uninstall it from a computer as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name Async remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Access Trojan
Detection Names AegisLab (Trojan.Win32.Generic.4!c), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.MSILPerseus.191214), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Agent.BVF), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Remote access 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, installation of other malicious software
Removal

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

There are many legitimate and illegal RATs on the Internet, either way, they can always be used by cyber criminals for malicious purposes. Most the times people are unaware of the fact that their computers are infected with a program of this type. The longer it is installed, the more damage cyber criminals could cause through it. Examples of other programs of this type are Poison Ivy, NetWire and Quasar.

How did AsyncRAT infiltrate my computer?

Typically, people download and install malicious programs because cyber criminals trick them into it. To achieve it, they usually use spam campaigns (emails), untrustworthy file and/or software download channels, unofficial software updating or activation tools and trojans. If they use "malspam" (spam campaigns), they send emails that contain malicious attachments. When (and if) opened, these attachments cause downloads and installations of malicious programs. Examples of files that can be used to spread malware are Microsoft Office documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR and PDF documents. Another way to proliferate malicious software is through unreliable file and/or software download sources. For example, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, free file hosting or freeware websites, third party downloaders and other similar sources. To trick people into installing malicious software by themselves, cyber criminals disguise malicious files as normal and legitimate. Computers get infected when people download and open them. Fake software updaters download and install malicious programs instead of updates or/and fixes. In other cases they infect computers by exploiting bugs, flaws of some outdated, already installed software. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools supposed to activate software for free/bypass paid activation. However, instead of functioning as users hope them to, they often download and install malware. Trojans are malicious programs that are designed to spread other programs of this type. In other words, if installed, they cause chain infections.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We recommend to ignore irrelevant emails that contain various attachments or web links, it usually can be applied to emails that are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Do not download or install programs using third party downloaders or installers, other sources that we mentioned above should not be trusted too. All files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and using direct download links. Installed programs should be updated using tools or implemented functions that are created by official software developers. The same applies to software activation: 'cracking' tools are illegal and often cause installations of malicious programs. Installed programs should be activated properly. Another way to keep a computer safe is to scan it for viruses with a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software regularly and remove detected threats immediately. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

AsyncRAT administration panel:

AsyncRAT control panel

Instant automatic removal of Async 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 Async remote access trojan. 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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
Async remote access trojan QR code
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Platform: Windows

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