How to uninstall ExpertRAT malware?

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

ExpertRAT virus removal guide

What is ExpertRAT?

ExpertRAT is a piece of 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, then this malware should be uninstalled from it as soon as possible.

ExpertRAT malware

In most cases RATs like ExpertRAT can be used to take screenshots of victim's screen, access 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 like usernames, passwords of various accounts, credit card details, access personal, confidential documents or other data, install some other malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan) on the infected computer, etc. In other words, users who would have ExpertRAT installed on the operating system may 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 related to online privacy, browsing safety, etc. It is worthwhile to mention that it is common for RATs to be designed to run in the background silently, therefore, victims may not know that such malware is installed on their computers for 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 may 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 Malwarebytes.
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Bozok, ModiRat, Luminosity are the names of other malicious programs that cyber criminals use for the same purpose - to steal sensitive information and/or distribute other malware. There is more than one way to trick users into unintentional installation of a RAT (or other type of malware). Some of the most popular 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 case cyber criminals send emails that have malicious files attached to them. If opened, those attachments/files install ransomware or other malicious software. Examples of files that cyber criminals usually attach are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, archive files like RAR, ZIP, executable files (like .exe) and JavaScript. Also, their emails may contain website links that, if opened, would download some malicious file. Another way to distribute malware is through malicious programs called Trojans. Certain type of Trojans can be designed cause chain infections - to download and install some other malicious software. Unreliable 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 can be used to proliferate malicious programs too. It happens when users use such sources to download installation (or other) files and download malicious ones instead. In most cases it happens because those files are disguised as legitimate, harmless. When opened (executed), malicious files install malicious software. Fake software updating tools if used, can download and install unwanted, malicious software instead of updates, fixes for the installed software. Also, they can be designed to infect systems by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on victim's computer. Software 'cracking' (activation) tools are illegal programs that supposed to bypass activation of a some licensed software or operating system. However, instead of doing that they often infect systems with malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files attached to irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is worthwhile to mention that cyber criminals disguise their emails as official, important, etc. Website links and attachments in received emails should be opened only when there is not reason to suspect that it could be not safe. All software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Any other sources should not be trusted (examples of unreliable download sources, channels are provided in the previous paragraph). Furthermore, installed programs must be updated and/or activated with tools and/or functions that are provided by their official developers, and not some third party, unofficial tools. Moreover, it is not even legal to use 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools to bypass activation of licensed software. And finally, it is important to regularly scan the operating system for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep that software up to date. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes 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 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
ExpertRAT remote access trojan QR code
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