How to uninstall ExpertRAT malware

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

What is ExpertRAT?

ExpertRAT is malware which functions as a Remote Administration/Access Trojan (RAT). It allows cyber criminals to control infected machines (computers) remotely. Research shows that cyber criminals behind ExpertRAT target users living in Italy. This RAT was discovered by reecDeep.

If there is any reason to suspect that a computer is infected with ExpertRAT, this malware should be uninstalled from it immediately.

ExpertRAT malware

In most cases, RATs such as ExpertRAT are used to take screenshots of the victim's screen, access the webcam, download and execute files, execute commands, log keystrokes, manage (delete, rename, modify, etc.) files stored on a computer, and for other purposes.

Therefore, cyber criminals can use malware of this type to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords of various accounts, credit card details, and access personal, confidential documents or other data, install other malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojans) on the infected computer, etc.

I.e., users who would have ExpertRAT installed on the operating system might become victims of identity theft, lose access to various personal accounts (e.g., email, social media, banking accounts), have their computers infected with more malicious programs that could be used for other malicious purposes, suffer monetary, data loss, experience serious problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, etc.

Note that RATs are often designed to run in the background stealthily and, therefore, victims may not be aware that the malware is installed on their computers for an indefinite amount of time.

Threat Summary:
Name ExpertRAT remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Administration Trojan, spyware.
Detection Names Arcabit (Trojan.Strictor.D2A768), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Strictor.173928), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/GenKryptik.DGCW), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Full List (VirusTotal).
Malicious Process Name(s) QuantumChessIT2 (its name might vary).
Symptoms Remote Access 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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Bozok, ModiRat, and Luminosity are example of other malicious programs that cyber criminals use for the same purpose - to steal sensitive information and/or distribute other malware. There are a number of ways employed to trick users into unintentional installation of RATs (or other types of malware).

Some of the most common malware distribution methods are described in the next paragraph.

How did ExpertRAT infiltrate my computer?

One of the most common ways to distribute malware is to use malspam campaigns. In such cases, cyber criminals send emails that have malicious files attached to them. If opened, these attachments/files install ransomware or other malicious software.

Examples of files that cyber criminals usually attach are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, archive files such as RAR, ZIP, executable files (.exe) and JavaScript. Their emails might also contain website links that, if opened, download a malicious file.

Malware is also distributed through malicious programs called Trojans, some of which cause chain infections by downloading and installing other malicious software.

Untrusted software download sources such as unofficial websites, freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule and), third party downloaders and other file and software download sources also proliferate malicious programs.

This happens when the use of such sources results in download and installation of malicious files (often disguised as legitimate, harmless). When opened (executed), the rogue files install malicious software. Fake software updating tools can download and install unwanted, malicious software rather than updates/fixes for installed software.

They can also be designed to infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the victim's computer. Software 'cracking' (activation) tools are illegal programs that supposedly bypass activation of licensed software or operating systems, however, they often infect systems with malware instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

Files attached to irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. Note that cyber criminals disguise their emails as official, important, etc. Website links and attachments in received emails should be opened only when you are sure they are safe.

All software and files should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Other sources should not be trusted (examples of dubious download sources, channels are provided above). Installed programs must be updated and activated with tools/functions that are provided by their official developers.

Avoid third party, unofficial tools. Furthermore, it is illegal to use 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools to bypass activation of licensed software. Regularly scan the operating system for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.

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.

ExpertRAT running in Task Manager as "QuantumChessIT2":

expertrat malware malicous quantumchessit2 process

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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