How to remove XpertRAT from the operating system?

Also Known As: XpertRAT remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

XpertRAT virus removal guide

What is XpertRAT?

XpertRAT is the name of a Remote Administration Trojan - a malicious program that allows cyber criminals to remotely access and control infected computers. Typically, users download and install such software unknowingly - they get tricked into it. By having a computer infected with malware like XpertRAT users could experience various serious problems.

XpertRAT malware

It is common that cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing malware like XpertRAT so they could access personal files (e.g., financial documents), steal sensitive information like credit card details, login credentials, and other data that could be misused to generate revenue. Such information could be misused to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, steal personal accounts, identities, and for other malicious purposes. Furthermore, XpertRAT could be used to download and execute malicious files that would install some ransomware, other type of Trojan, cryptocurrency miner or other malware. It means that victims may not be able to access their files without the tools that only cyber criminals who designed ransomware have, have their computers used to mine cryptocurrency, and/or experience other serious problems. To sum up, victims of XpertRAT may have their identities stolen, lose access to personal accounts, suffer monetary, data loss, experience issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, and/or other problems. If there is a reason to suspect that XpertRAT (or other RAT) is installed on the operating system, then it should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name XpertRAT remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Access Trojan
Detection Names Cybereason (Malicious.f3a5ed), DrWeb (Trojan.Inject3.44022), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.WNG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) Stenber Desktop (its name may vary)
Payload This RAT can be used to install various types 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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Some examples of RATs similar to XpertRAT are FRAT, Ratty and VanTom. Typically, users get deceived into installing such software and they do not know about it unless they start to notice some unusual activity and/or experience various issues inability to access personal accounts, monetary loss, installation of some malware. Methods to avoid installation of malicious software are described below.

How did XpertRAT infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing XpertRAT on their computers through a malspam campaign: they send emails that are disguised as letter regarding some purchase order and contain a malicious ISO file. That image file contains a malicious executable file which, if executed, installs XpertRAT. Some more examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are malicious Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, JavaScript files, archive files like ZIP, RAR. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious MS Office documents cannot install malware without getting a permission to enable macros commands (editing/content. Although, this applies only do malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or later, older versions do not have the "Protected View" mode feature and infect systems automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended not to open attachments and/or website links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, untrustworthy, suspicious addresses. Typically, cyber criminals disguise their emails as official, important, they exploit names of legitimate companies, organizations. Another important thing is to update and activate installed programs only with implemented functions or tools that provided by official software developers and not some third party tools. It is worthwhile to mention that it is it is not legal to use 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) to activate licensed software. Furthermore, software should not be downloaded via untrustworthy, unofficial websites, third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), fee file hosting sites, etc. This party installers should not be used as well. The safest way to download files and programs is by using official pages and direct links. Additionally, it is advised to regularly scan the operating system with a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus software. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Malspam campaign used to distribute XpertRAT:

xpertrat malware distributing malspam campaign

Text in this email:

Subject: Purchase Order IMA0948436

Dear Sir or Madam,


Please find attached order and send us an order confirmation.


Kind Regards,

Andreuccetti Orlando

Purchasing and Logistic Dept.


IMA S.p.A. - IMA LIFE Division

Via F. Petrarca, 34-38-40

50041 Calenzano (Firenze) Italy

Phone: 055-8837398

Fax: 055-8832840

www.ima.it - www.ima.it

andreuccetti0@ima.it

XpertRAT running in Task Manager as "Stenber Desktop" (its process name may vary):

xpertrat malware running in task manager as stenber desktop

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.

QR Code
XpertRAT remote access trojan QR code
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