How to remove the EpicSplit Remote Access Trojan (RAT) from your system

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

What is the EpicSplit RAT?

Discovered by Blueteam 4 Life, EpicSplit is a malicious program classified as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Malware of this type allows remote access and control over an infected device. RATs can enable user-level control (or close to user-level control) of a machine.

These programs have a wide variety of functionalities, which can lead to likewise varied misuse. Remote Access Trojan infections are highly dangerous and, therefore, must be eliminated immediately.

EpicSplit malware detection on VirusTotal

As mentioned, RATs can have various capabilities/features. This malicious software can gain significant control over the device's hardware and software, the data stored in the system, and the system itself. These Trojans can typically manage the Windows Registry.

This database contains settings, options, values and other information of software and hardware installed on the system. Therefore, RATs can view, copy, rename, delete system and personal files. Some of these programs can manipulate hardware. For example, record audio and video through integrated and connected microphones and cameras.

Another feature that aids them in monitoring and spying is the capability to capture screenshots. RATs can also exfiltrate (download) data, and some can infiltrate (upload) it as well. The latter, coupled with the capability to execute files, means that a malicious program can cause chain infections.

I.e., download/install additional malware (e.g. ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). Often, the primary use of Remote Access Trojans is to steal information. They can exfiltrate data straight from the infected systems, and the content can then be used for ransom/blackmail purposes.

Information can even be extracted from applications such as, for example, browsers. This is used to steal stored log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords) of various accounts. Keylogging (i.e., recording of key strokes) is used for this purpose as well.

Through stolen email accounts, cyber criminals can gain access to associated accounts. Communication accounts (e.g. emails, messengers, social networking, social media, etc.) can be used to ask the genuine owner's contacts/friends for loans and/or to proliferate malware by sharing infectious files.

Banking accounts and ones dealing with financial information (e.g. online money transfers, e-commerce, etc.) can be hijacked and misused for fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. In summary, the presence of EpicSplit RAT endangers device integrity and data safety.

This infection can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and identity theft. Therefore, if it is suspected/known that EpicSplit (or other malware) has already infected the system, use anti-virus software to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name EpicSplit remote access trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Java:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33857585), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Java/Kryptik.AGN), GData (Java.Trojan.Agent.A5MAQ3), 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 Combo Cleaner.
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HupigonLuminosityPekraut and Kwampirs are some examples of other Remote Access Trojans. These malicious programs can have capabilities ranging from those geared towards data theft, to download/installation of additional malware.

Regardless of how they operate, RATs, much as other malicious software, have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the cyber criminals using them. Due to the significant threats posed to devices and user safety, these Trojans must be removed immediately from operating systems.

How did EpicSplit infiltrate my computer?

The exact methods used to distribute EpicSplit are unknown. The most common malware proliferation techniques are via spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, fake updates and untrusted download channels. The term "spam campaign" is used to describe a large scale operation, during which deceptive/scam emails are sent by the thousand.

This mail is usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent" or otherwise "priority". The messages have infectious files attached to, or linked inside, them. Malicious files can be in various different formats, such as archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.) PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.

When they are opened, the infection process is triggered. Rather than activating licensed products, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware. Fake updaters infect systems by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or simply by installing malicious software, rather than the promised updates.

Malware (disguised as or bundled with normal content) can be unintentionally downloaded from dubious sources such as unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not open suspect or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present in them, as doing so can lead to high-risk infection. Additionally, all downloads should be performed only from official and verified channels. It is also important to activate and update products with tools/functions, provided by genuine developers.

Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters should be avoided, since they are commonly used to proliferate malware. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed. This software must be kept up to date, used to run 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.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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.

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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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