DuckRAT virus removal guide
What is DuckRAT?
DuckRAT is a piece of malicious software, classified as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Trojans of this type are designed to enable remote access and control over an infected machine. RATs can have a wide variety of heinous functionalities, which can be used in various ways and lead to likewise varied issues. DuckRAT malware users DarkTrack, NirSoft and Fynloski RAT tools to access/control compromised devices and steal information from them. This RAT is deemed to be a highly dangerous piece of software and its infections must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
Remote Access Trojans can usually interact with and (to a certain degree) manage the Windows Registry. This database contains settings, options, values and other information - relating to hardware and software installed onto the system. Therefore, RATs can manipulate and manage both hardware and software. The former may entail remote mouse and keyboard control, opening/closing the CD-ROM, recording audio and/or video via integrated/connected microphones and webcams, and so on. For the latter, these malicious programs may be able to inspect, open, run, execute and delete installed applications and/or terminate running processes. The same level of control (e.g. view, copy, rename, move, delete) may extend to system and personal files as well. If a RAT is capable of infiltrating (i.e. uploading) files into the system and executing them - then, it may be used to cause chain infections. Which means that through the RAT infection, the device can be infected with various trojans, ransomware, cryptominers and other malware. Other spying capabilities that trojans of this type often have is taking screenshots, recording and/or live-streaming the screen and keylogging (i.e. recording key strokes). Typically, RATs are developed with significant information stealing functionalities. Aside from the previously mentioned keylogging, they may also be able to extract data from browsers and other applications. Data of interest includes (but is not limited to): personally identifiable information of the victim (e.g. name, address, telephone number, email, etc.), log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) of various accounts, financial information (e.g. credit card details), and so forth. To elaborate on how some of this data can be used, then though hijacked communication accounts (e.g. emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) cyber criminals can ask contacts/friends for loans and/or proliferate malware by sharing infectious files - under the guise of the account's genuine owner. Should any particularly compromising and/or sensitive content be detected on the infected machine and/or in online data storage accounts - it may be exfiltrated and held for ransom, under the threat of publication and/or sale to the victims' competitors. Financial information and/or accounts that directly/indirectly deal with such data (e.g. e-commerce, online money transferring, digital wallets, and banking accounts) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. In summary, RAT infections can lead to device/data damage, financial losses, severe privacy issues and identity theft. If it is suspected and/or known that DuckRAT has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.
|Name||DuckRAT remote access trojan|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Detection Names||AVG (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.43813700), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/Spy.Agent.XB), McAfee (Artemis!E94BEA99BAF3), 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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
LuxNET, T-RAT, ExpertRAT, BitRAT, WellMess and VanTom are some examples of other Remote Access Trojans. As mentioned in the introduction, these malicious programs can have a broad range of abilities. How RATs are used and what problems they may cause - depends on the cyber criminals' goals and modus operandi. Regardless, the end-goal is always the same - to generate revenue for the criminals using them.
How did DuckRAT infiltrate my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Suspect and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them - as that can result in a system infection. It is advised to only use official and verified download channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated/updated with tools or functions provided by legitimate developers. Since illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters often proliferate malware. To protect device and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and 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:
- What is DuckRAT?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of DuckRAT malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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.