How to uninatall the Abaddon RAT from the operating system?

Also Known As: Abaddon Remote Access Trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Abaddon virus removal guide

What is Abaddon?

Abaddon is the name of a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that receives commands via Discord. In other words, this RAT uses Discord as its Command and Control (C2) server. Additionally, Abaddon has a ransomware feature - it could be used to execute commands that would encrypt victim's files. Therefore, cyber criminals may use this malware not only to collect sensitive information but also to prevent victims from accessing their and force them to pay a ransom.

Abaddon malware

Research shows that Abaddon is designed to automatically steal cookies, saved credit cards and login credentials from Google Chrome browser. Also, it is designed to steal Steam credentials and list of installed games, system information, Discord tokens Multi-factor authentication data. It sends stolen data to Discord command and control (C2) server and then checks if there are any new commands for it to execute. Those commands may instruct Abaddon to steal files or even entire directories, list of drives, open a reverse shell that would allow cyber criminals to execute other commands on the infected computer. Therefore, by having a computer infected with this RAT users may become victims of identity theft, lose access to personal accounts, suffer monetary loss, experience serious problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, etc. Additionally, cyber criminals may use Abaddon to start data encryption (launch ransomware feature). However, it is known that the ransomware feature is not fully developed, at least not at the moment. However, it may be finished at some point in the future which would make Abaddon capable of causing even more damage.

Threat Summary:
Name Abaddon Remote Access Trojan
Threat Type Remote Administration Trojan, ransomware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.REntS.Gen.1), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/Spy.Agent.CZG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Agent.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)
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, monetary and/or data loss.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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To summarize, most Remote Access Trojans are used with a purpose to steal sensitive information that could be misused to generate revenue in one or another way (e.g., to make fraudulent purchases, transactions) and/or infect computers with additional malware (e.g., ransomware). It is worthwhile to mention that there are many legitimate Remote Administration/Access Tools, however, even those can be employed by cyber criminals and used for malicious purposes. Some examples of other software with similar capabilities are GravityRAT, DuckRAT and LuxNET.

How did Abaddon infiltrate my computer?

Usually, cyber criminals distribute malicious software via Trojans, malspam campaigns, untrustworthy file, software download channels, software 'cracking' tools (unofficial activation tools) and fake updating tools. Trojans are malicious programs that can infect operating systems only if when they are installed on them. Once installed, they can cause installation of additional malware (cause chain infections). Another way to distribute malicious programs is to send emails that contain malicious attachments or website links designed to download malicious files. Cyber criminals criminals behind such emails have one goal - to trick recipients into opening a malicious file that is designed to install malware. As a rule, they attempt to do that by disguising their emails as official important, etc. Some example of files that can be used to distribute malware this way are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), archive files like RAR, ZIP or JavaScript files. Examples of unreliable file, software download channels are Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, free file hosting websites, third party downloaders, freeware download pages, unofficial websites, etc. It is common that they are used to distribute malicious files by disguising them as regular, legitimate. When such files are downloaded and opened, they install malware. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are illegal programs that can be used to activate licensed software for free. Although, quite often they designed to infect computers with high-risk malware instead. Unofficial updating tools can cause damage either by installing malware instead of updates, fixes for the installed software, or by exploiting bugs, flaws, of some outdated software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Various third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks, and other download or installation tools, sources (more examples are mentioned in the previous paragraph) should not be used. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and through direct download links. Unofficial, fake updating and activation tools should not be used as well - all software should be updated and activated with implemented functions or tools that are provided by its official developers. Also, it is not legal to activate any licensed software with unofficial tools, or use installers for pirated software. Attachments (and website links) in irrelevant emails should not be opened. Especially when such emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Additionally, it is advised to scan computers for threats regularly and use reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software for that. 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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