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How to uninstall the BlackNET Remote Access Trojan (RAT)

Also Known As: BlackNET remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

BlackNET virus removal guide

What is the BlackNET RAT?

BlackNET is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). These programs are categorized as malicious, since they allow cyber criminals using them remote access and control over the infected system. This Trojan-type malware has various capabilities/functions, which can cause especially serious issues. BlackNET has been observed being proliferated by exploiting the current social climate (i.e., the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic). The program is promoted as a digital anti-virus application somehow capable of preventing people from being infected with the coronavirus, which is a human viral infection, not a malicious program.

BlackNET malware detection on VirusTotal

RATs allow cyber criminals remote access and control over an infected device. These Trojans have varied functionality, which can be exploited in malicious ways. Some of the main capabilities of BlackNET include deployment of DDoS attacks, script execution, exfiltration of data stored on browsers, keylogging and others. To elaborate, a DDoS attack (distributed denial-of-service attack) is intended to disrupt or make an online service (e.g. website, server, network, etc.) unavailable for the intended users. This is done by to overload the system with countless requests, thereby canceling all or some of the legitimate requests from being fulfilled. Specifically in DDoS attacks, the incoming bogus requests come from many different sources, and hence it cannot be stopped by blocking just one source. BlackNET can also execute scripts (i.e., issue commands) to certain programs. This RAT primarily targets internet cookies and log-ins/passwords stored on Mozilla Firefox, however, other stored information and/or browsers might be targeted. Keylogging is the capability to record key strokes on the keyboard. Therefore, the security of all typed information is endangered. Typically, this feature is used by cyber criminals to steal various accounts such as communication (e.g. email, social networking, social media, etc.), e-commerce (online stores), and financial accounts (e.g. banking, cryptocurrency, etc.). Communication/Social accounts can be misused to ask contacts/friends for loans, under the guise of the genuine account owner. These might also be used to further malware. E-commerce accounts often store credit card details, which in turn can be used to make various online purchases within that platform or others. Compromised financial accounts can suffer fraudulent transactions. It has been noted that BlackNET RAT makes attempts to steal Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallets. In summary, this Trojan compromises device integrity and can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and identity theft. If BlackNET (or other malware) has already infected the system, you are strongly advised to use anti-virus software to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name BlackNET remote access trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMetagen [Malware]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.42880222), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.IKVDEIB), Kaspersky (Trojan.MSIL.HydraPOS.alf), Full List (VirusTotal)
Related Domains antivirus-covid19[.]site
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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PlugXFireBird and Koadic are some examples of other remote access Trojans. This malicious software can have various dangerous capabilities/features, which enable a wide range of misuse. Regardless of how unwanted RATs operate, they have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the cyber criminals behind them. This is the case for all malware. Therefore, remove these malicious programs immediately upon detection.

How did BlackNET infiltrate my computer?

BlackNET has been promoted on a scam site under the guise of a "Corona Antivirus". The malware is presented as an application that can prevent users (often in some absurd way) from being infected with a human virus (i.e., Corona-virus/COVID-19). In general, malware has various proliferation methods. The most popular ways that malicious software spreads are via backdoor Trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), bogus updates and untrusted download channels. Some trojans have the capability to cause chain infections (i.e., download/install additional malware). The term "spam campaign" describes large scale operations, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. These messages are typically presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar. They might even be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, organizations, companies, service providers and so on. The emails have malicious files attached or, alternatively, contain download links to them. Infectious files can be in various formats such as Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archive (RAR, ZIP) and executable (.exe, .run), JavaScript, etc. When these files are executed, run, or otherwise opened, the infection process starts. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malicious programs, rather than activating licensed products. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing flaws of outdated products and/or simply by installing malware rather than the promised updates. Malicious content can be downloaded from untrusted download sources inadvertently. For example, unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders.

How to avoid installation of malware

You are advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those received from unknown/suspect senders. Do not open any attachments or links found in dubious mail, as this can result in high-risk infection. Research all software and use only official/verified download channels, as opposed to Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders. Activate and update products with tools/functions provided by genuine developers, since illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are often used to proliferate malware. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is imperative to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed. This software must be kept up to date, used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Screenshot of the website promoting BlackNET RAT as Corona Antivirus:

BlackNET remote access trojan promoting website

Screenshot of the download page of BlackNET RAT:

BlackNET remote access trojan promoter download page

Screenshot of the administration log-in of BlackNET RAT:

BlackNET remote access trojan admin log-in

Screenshot of BlackNET RAT administration panel:

BlackNET remote access trojan admin panel

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. 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 is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 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 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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