How to remove Sectop RAT from the operating system?

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

Sectop virus removal guide

What is Sectop?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, Sectop is a remote access trojan (RAT). Malware of this type operates by allowing remote access to infected devices and essentially hijacking them. RAT presence in systems can cause various very severe issues.

Sectop malware

After successful installation, Sectop can stream the current desktop (let the cyber criminals behind the infection to monitor/record it) or create another desktop, which affected users cannot see. For example, the aforementioned can be used to steal users' personal information. Via the "invisible" desktop criminals can surf the Internet. This can affect Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer operations/configurations. To elaborate, it can change browser's configurations, use start parameters, alter registry settings and disable security. For example, to Chrome browsers Sectop can disable certain graphics cache and graphics options. The affected browsers can be employed to visit malicious sites, which can execute scripts to further infect the system. They can also be used to generate traffic for websites, to improve their rating and profitability. Additionally, this trojan can send operating system data (username, OS name, etc.) and hardware information (RAM, processor name, core count, etc.). It also injects devices with an executable ("spoolsvc.exe"), location "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\". Additionally, this infection is the origin of the "EFS UI Application" process as well. Based on current research, Sectop appears to be unfinished and it is likely that improved variants will be released in the future. To summarize, RATs can cause chain infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to remove Sectop immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Sectop remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Access Trojan
Detection Names Avast (Win32:TrojanX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32712333), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Agent.CJJ), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) spoolsvc.exe, EFS UI Application
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and 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 passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet.

To eliminate Sectop 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.

LimeRevengeBlackRemoteGh0st are a few examples of other RAT type trojans. Nearly all malicious programs under this classification share similarities in-between. Their abilities can differ (e.g. they can track and gather data, cause chain infections, mine cryptocurrency, etc.), however they all have a single purpose - to generate revenue for their developers. These infections pose a huge threat to computers and users, therefore they must be eliminated without delay.

How did Sectop infiltrate my computer?

Malicious content (trojans, ransomware and other malware) usually proliferates through spam campaigns, illegal product activation ("cracking") tools, fake software updaters and untrustworthy download channels. Spam campaigns are used to send out deceptive emails on a massive scales. This mail is typically disguised as "official", "important", "urgent" and so on. The emails have infectious files attached to them (or links leading to such). The attachments come on various formats, e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc. When these files are run, executed or otherwise run - it triggers the infection process (i.e. they begin downloading/installing malware). Illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malicious programs rather than activate licensed product. Fake updaters infect systems by exploiting weaknesses in outdated software and/or by simply installing malware instead of the promised updates. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar channels are considered to be untrustworthy. Unreliable download sources are more likely to offer malicious software disguised as legitimate programs and/or ordinary products bundled with malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is highly recommended not to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially ones received from unknown senders (addresses). Any attachments (or links) found in suspect mail must never be opened - as these files are the origin of a potential system infection. Users are encouraged to use Microsoft Office version released after year 2010. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents MS documents from automatically enabling macro commands. In other words, this mode stops the files from beginning to download/install malware the moment they are opened. Only official and verified download channels should be used, as opposed to various sharing networks and other third party downloaders. Programs should be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters can be used to spread malicious content, therefore they are advised against use. It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software is to be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Sectop RAT process in Task Manager ("spoolsvc.exe"):

Sectop RAT process

Sectop RAT's injected executable ("spoolsvc.exe"), located in "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\":

Injected executable (spoolsvc.exe) location:

Persistence is achieved by adding "spoolsvc.exe" to the RUN key in the registry ("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\SFddg"):

Spoolsvc.exe added to the RUN key in the registry

Instant automatic removal of Sectop 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 Sectop 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 is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this 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 is an example of a suspicious program running on a 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 1Download 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 the Autoruns.exe file.

extract 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 the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

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

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not 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 filename 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 remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the 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 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

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

QR Code
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Platform: Windows

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