How to prevent installation of Gh0st remote access tool?

Also Known As: Gh0st remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Gh0st virus removal guide

What is Gh0st?

Gh0st is a remote access/administration tool (RAT) which is designed to control infected Windows computers remotely. Gh0st gets installed on computers through other malware that opens a backdoor for it which results in allowing cyber criminals to control infected computers. Typically, RATs can be used for various purposes, either way, most of them can cause victims serious problems related to privacy, finances, and other issues.

Gh0st malware

As a rule, RATs can be used to access victim's microphone, webcam, log keystrokes. Some variants of Gh0st can be used to install cryptocurrency miners or/and various trojan-type programs. Keystroke logging is a feature that helps cyber criminals to log keystrokes, in other words, to record keys pressed with a keyboard. By using it cyber criminals can steal various credentials like logins and passwords of various accounts. They could get access to banking or email accounts, Facebook, Telegram and so on. Stolen accounts may be used to make fraudulent transactions, purchases, extract money from other people, send scam/spam campaigns, etc. Furthermore, Gh0st could be used to install a cryptocurrency miner on infected systems and use computer's hardware to mine one or another cryptocurrency (solve mathematical problems). Typically, programs of this type cause high CPU and/or GPU usage which leads to higher electricity usage and decreased computer performance. People who have cryptocurrency miners installed on their computers get higher electricity bills, experience unexpected shutdowns, hardware overheat and other issues. Cyber criminals can use Gh0st to infect computers with various Trojans as well. Examples of trojan-type programs are Nymeria, Retefe, Vigorf and so on. They may be designed to distribute other malware like information stealers, ransomware and other, high-risk viruses. To avoid any of the potential damage that can be caused using Gh0st we recommend to uninstall it as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name Gh0st remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Acess Trojan
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Farfli-CF [Cryp]), BitDefender (Backdoor.Zegost.BC), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Farfli.ARD), Kaspersky (Backdoor.Win32.Farfli.alus), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload This RAT can be used to install cryptocurrency miner, Trojan or other malware.
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 Installation of additional malware, stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, .
Removal

To eliminate Gh0st 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 various RATs out there, some examples are Quasar, CyberGate and Sakula. As a rule, cyber criminals seek to infect systems with programs of this type so they could control victim's computer remotely and perform various actions that may help them to generate revenue in one or another way. Either way, if there is any reason to believe that a computer is infected with RAT, then it should be removed immediately.

How did Gh0st infiltrate my computer?

Typically, malicious programs can be distributed in various ways, most popular ones are spam campaigns/emails, unofficial file or software download channels, fake software updating and activation tools, or Trojans. To spread malware through emails, cyber criminals send files (attachments) that, if opened, install one or another malicious software. Attached files usually are PDF or Microsoft Office documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files and archives (like ZIP, RAR). Examples of unreliable download channels are third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, freeware download websites, free file hosting pages and so on. When cyber criminals use them to proliferate malware, they upload malicious files that are disguised as legitimate (harmless) and hope that people will download, and open them. If opened, these files install malicious software. Unofficial software updating tools usually infect computers when they install malware instead of updates, fixes or exploit vulnerabilities (bugs, flaws) of installed programs that are out-of-date. Unofficial/third party activation tools usually are used with a purpose to activate licensed software without having to pay for it. However, there are many cases where these tools are designed to distribute malware, in other words, instead of activating some software they install malicious one. Trojans are malicious programs that usually are designed to spread other malware. If a computer is infected with Trojan, then it is very likely that it will get infected with more malicious software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files that are attached to irrelevant emails should not be opened. Typically, these emails are sent from unknown addresses and disguised as important, official and so on. Installed programs must be updated using tools or functions that are designed by official developers. If activation of installed software is not free, then it should be done properly as well. In other words, various 'cracking' tools should not be used, they often are used to proliferate malware. Besides, it is not legal to activate licensed programs with them. Furthermore, all programs and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Other channels often contain malicious files and often are used to distribute malicious software. One more way to decrease a risk of having a system infected with malicious software is to regularly scan it with a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite, software of this type should be always up-to-date. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Gh0st RAT administration panel:

Gh0st remote access tool administration panel

Instant automatic removal of Gh0st 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 Gh0st 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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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

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Platform: Windows

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