Pekraut virus removal guide
What is Pekraut RAT?
Pekraut is a piece of malicious software, classified as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). This malware is designed to allow remote access and control over the infected device. RATs can have a wide variety of abilities/features, which enable a broad range of misuse. Pekraut trojan has 27 commands, though at the time of research one of them did not seem to be fully implemented. There is reason to believe that Pekraut RAT is of German origin, as the commands' (which are in English themselves) descriptions are in German. This is a high-risk malware, which can cause especially severe issues.
As mentioned in the introduction, remote access trojans have many varied abilities which enable a likewise extensive control over and abuse of the infected machine. One of Pekraut's primary functions is data exfiltration. These are some of the main abilities/features of this malware. The malicious program can manage Windows Registry; this database contains settings, options, values and other information concerning software and hardware installed onto the Operating System (OS). Pekraut can gather and send system information (e.g. device name, username, OS and processor architecture, screen count, number of integrated/connected cameras microphones) to the cyber criminals using the RAT. It can execute files, collect information on running processes and terminate them. The trojan can gather intel on system/personal folders and their contents (e.g. filenames, file extensions, size, creation/access dates and read-only attributes), it can also exfiltrate the files themselves. Another of the program's abilities is obtaining information about a screen, selecting one and taking screenshots of it. Pekraut can manipulate the device's hardware, it can record audio though microphones and record/stream video or single frame stills via webcams. How the stolen data is used depends on the information itself and cyber criminals' mode of operation. For example, the exfiltrated content can be held for ransom or blackmail purposes, by which victims are threatened with publication or sale to their competitors - unless a certain sum is paid. Keylogging is a feature of this RAT as well. That means that it can record key strokes, hence the privacy of any and all typed information is compromised. This is typically used to gather credentials (i.e. log-ins and passwords) of email, social and communication, e-commerce and financial accounts. Through various stolen communication accounts, cyber criminals can pretend to be the genuine owner and ask their contacts/friends for loans or spread malicious software by sharing virulent files. Financial accounts can be used to make fraudulent transactions and credit card details - to make online purchases. Pekraut can also shut down the device. To summarize, this malicious program endangers system and data integrity, as well as user safety; it can cause financial loss, severe privacy issues and identity theft. If it is known/suspected that the system is infected with Pekraut, it is strongly advised to use an anti-virus to remove it immediately.
|Name||Pekraut remote access trojan|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33555859), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Agent.CJP), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Fsysna.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
FireBird, Cardinal, Kwampirs, Milum are a few examples of other remote access trojans. However, malware can have other abilities/purposes, e.g. data encryption and/or screen-locking for ransom purposes (ransomware), download/installation of additional malicious programs, cryptocurrency mining (cryptominers) and so on. While these programs operate different, the end-goal is the same - to generate profit to the cyber criminals using them.
How did Pekraut infiltrate my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Dubious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links present in them - as doing so can result in an infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download sources. Additionally, it is important to activate and update software with tools/functions, provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters should not be used, as they can download/install malware. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed. Furthermore, it is to 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 Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Pekraut?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of Pekraut malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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 Malwarebytes 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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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 Malwarebytes for Windows.