How to remove Ratty remote access trojan from your operating system?

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

Ratty virus removal guide

What is the Ratty RAT?

Ratty is the name of a malicious program, categorized as a RAT. RATs are Remote Access Tools, yet when used for malicious purposes - they are referred to as Remote Access Trojans. The Ratty malware is an open source Java RAT. This trojan was made available on the GitHub software development platform and was strongly endorsed on HackForums. Sometime in 2016 / 2017 - Ratty's original uploader deleted their repository. However, several clones (potentially, other variants) of the Ratty RAT still exist. Remote access trojans are designed to allow remote access and control over infected devices. These malicious programs can have a broad range of functionalities that enable likewise varied misuse. RATs are deemed to be highly dangerous and as such all infections must be eliminated immediately.

Ratty RAT detections on VirusTotal

Remote access trojans can have a significant amount of control over an infected machine, in some cases they may grant user-level control. Typically, these trojans can interact with and manage the Windows Registry database. It contains information (e.g. settings, options, values and other details) of software and hardware installed onto the operating system. Due to this, RATs can manage (i.e. view, rename, copy, delete) both system and personal files. They can even manipulate devices' software and hardware. The malicious programs can access, execute, run files/applications and terminate their processes. They can spy via connected or integrated microphones/cameras, e.g. stream audio/video live or record it. Recording and/or obtaining stills (i.e. screenshots) of the screen can also be a feature of this type of malware. RATs can often exfiltrate (download) data stored in the system and some can infiltrate (upload) it. If malicious software is capable of infiltrating files and executing them, then it may be used to cause chain infections (i.e. to download/install additional malware). Aside from the capability of downloading stored content, remote access trojans commonly have other features geared specifically towards stealing information. Keylogging (i.e. recording of key strokes) is a popular functionality, as well as the ability to extract saved/stored log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) from browsers and other applications. To provide some examples of how the stolen material can be misused, then if the stored/recorded content is particularly sensitive and/or compromising - it can be used for blackmail. Various online accounts are especially targeted by cyber criminals. Stolen email, social networking/media and other communication accounts can be used by criminals to ask for contacts/friends for loans and/or to spread malware by sharing infectious files - under the guise of the genuine account owner. Accounts that deal with financial information (e.g. banking, e-commerce, money transferring and others) can be used for fraudulent transactions and/or to make online purchases. To summarize, Ratty infections can result in substantial device and data damage, financial losses, serious privacy issues and identity theft. If it is suspected/known that the Ratty RAT (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ratty remote access trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Java:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Exploit.AppendedJar.1.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.JIFITEU), Kaspersky (Trojan.Java.Ratty.a), 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)

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VanTomDarkTrackEpicSplitHupigon and Luminosity are some examples of other remote access trojans. As mentioned in the introduction, these malicious programs can be multifunctional and pose an especially serious threat to device/user safety. Regardless of how malware operates, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue to the cyber criminals using it. Therefore, all malware infections necessitate immediate removal.

How did Ratty infiltrate my computer?

The primary malware distribution techniques include - spam campaigns, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), illegitimate updates and dubious download channels. Spam campaigns are operations, during which deceptive/scam emails are sent on a mass scale. These letters are typically disguised as "official", "urgent", "important", and so on. The emails have infectious files attached to or linked inside them. Malicious files can be in various formats (e.g. archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.); when they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain is initiated. Rather than activate licensed product, "cracking" tools can download/install malware. Fake updaters cause infections by abusing flaws of outdated products and/or simply install malicious programs instead of the promised updates. Malware can be inadvertently downloaded from untrustworthy sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid system infections through malware distributed via spam campaigns, it is advised not to open suspect and/or irrelevant emails, especially any attachments or links found in them. Additionally, it is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. It is just as important to activate and update products with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters must not be used, as they often proliferate malicious software. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed. It must be kept up-to-date, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats/issues. 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:
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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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