How to get rid of STRRAT malware?

Also Known As: STRRAT remote administration trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

STRRAT virus removal guide

What is STRRAT?

STRRAT is the name of a Remote Administration Trojan (RAT) which is capable of stealing login credentials saved on browsers and email clients, logging keystrokes and remotely controlling infected Windows operating systems. Also, STRRAT includes a ransomware module - it is capable of making files stored on victim's computer inaccessible.

STRRAT malware

Cyber criminals can use STRRAT malware to steal credentials saved on web browsers and email clients such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Foxmail, Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. It means that they can use this RAT to steal various accounts and misuse them for malicious purposes. For example, to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, spread malspam and other spam campaigns, trick other users into making money transactions, etc. STRRAT's keylogging feature can be used for more or less the same purposes - it allows cyber criminals to record pressed keys and gather information such as entered email addresses, usernames, passwords, credit card details, and other sensitive information. Furthermore, like most malware of this type, STRRAT allows cyber criminals behind it to control infected machines/computers remotely. Research shows that this RAT can be used to execute commands that would allow them to restart, shutdown a computer, upload, download, delete and open (execute) various files, and perform other actions as well. It means that cyber criminals could use it to cause installation of additional malware, for example, ransomware, other Trojan-type malware, cryptocurrency miner. As mentioned in the introduction, STRRAT includes a ransomware module: it can be used to make files inaccessible by changing their extension to the ".crimson" extension and create a ransom note. Although, this does not mean that it encrypts files, it only renames them so that victims could not open them with a double click. This issue can be easily solved by removing the appended extension/changing it to the original one.

Threat Summary:
Name STRRAT remote administration trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names (NEW ORDER.jar) Avast (Java:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.43308841), ESET-NOD32 (VBS/TrojanDropper.Agent.OIY), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.VBS.SLoad.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload This RAT can be used to install a variety of malicious programs
Symptoms Remote Administration 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.
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To sum up, users who would have the STRRAT malware installed on a computer could become victims of identity theft, lose access to various personal account, suffer monetary loss, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, have their computers infected with various other malware, etc. Therefore, if there is any reason to suspect that such malware is installed on a computer, then it should be removed as soon as possible. Here are a couple of examples of other RATs: Bozok, DarkTrack and EpicSplit.

How did STRRAT infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals attempt to deceive users into installing STRRAT on their computers through malspam. To be more precise, by sending emails that contain a malicious attachment named "NEW ORDER.jar". When executed, this file starts infection chain which ends with the installation of STRRAT Remote Access Trojan. Some more examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are malicious Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe), archive files (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents. In one way or another, attached files can cause damage only if recipients open them. Also, it is common that instead of attaching some malicious file directly to their emails cyber criminals send emails that contain some website link that is designed to download a malicious file. It is worthwhile to mention that cyber criminals often succeed at deceiving users into opening malicious files by simply disguising their emails as official, important, legitimate.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files and website links in irrelevant emails should not be trusted (opened). Especially if such emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Other channels (like third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) often are used to distribute malware. The same applies to third party installers. Installed software must be updated and activated only with tools and/or functions that are designed by official software developers. It is common that unofficial, third party tools infect computers with malicious programs. Also, it is not legal to activate licensed software with 'cracking' tools. Operating system/computer should have a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware installed on it. It is recommended to scan a computer for threats regularly. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Email used to distribute STRRAT (via the "NEW ORDER.jar" attachment):

Spam email distributing STRRAT 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:
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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 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:

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 Malwarebytes 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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