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How to eliminate the RATDispenser malware from your operating system?

Also Known As: RATDispenser virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is RATDispenser?

RATDispenser is a piece of malicious software designed to cause chain infections. This JavaScript program is primarily used to infect systems with Remote Access Trojans (RATs). These trojans operate by enabling stealthy remote access and control over compromised machines.

RATDispenser malware detections on VirusTotal

RATDispenser malware overview

RATDispenser uses anti-detection and obfuscation techniques, which complicate its discovery on infected systems. It has been observed injecting devices with FormBook, STRRAT, WSH, Adwind, Remcos, GuLoader, Panda stealer, Ratty RAT, and potentially other malicious programs.

The bulk of RATDispenser's payloads are RAT-type programs. They are designed to enable remote control over machines, and they tend to have a wide variety of malicious functionalities.

RATs can usually manage/manipulate the device's software and stored data. This software is typically capable of exfiltrating files and information from the system, which (if valuable enough) may be ransomed under threat of publication.

Some RATs have various data-stealing/spying abilities, e.g., keylogging (recording keystrokes), extracting information from browsers and other installed applications, taking screenshots, recording/live-streaming the desktop and/or audio/video via microphones and cameras, etc.

Targeted data can include - personally identifiable details, account log-in credentials (i.e., usernames/passwords), finance-related information (e.g., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.).

To summarize, RATDispenser can cause multiple system infections and lead to decreased system performance, data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected that RATDispenser (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to eliminate it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name RATDispenser virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (JS:Crypt-R [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.38100331), ESET-NOD32 (JS/TrojanDropper.Agent.OFP), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.Script.SLoad.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:JS/Obfuse.RVD!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload FormBook, STRRAT, WSH, Adwind, Remcos, GuLoader, Panda, Ratty, etc.
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 Combo Cleaner.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Malware in general

ServHelperOstapMosaicLoader, and RustyBuer are a few examples of other malicious programs capable of causing chain infections. In general, malware can have varied harmful features that can be in different combinations.

Aside from various trojans, other popular malicious programs are ransomware and cryptocurrency miners. The former encrypts files and/or locks the device's screen - to demand ransoms for the decryption/ access recovery. Cryptominers abuse system resources (potentially to the point of permanent hardware damage) - to generate cryptocurrency.

Regardless of how malware operates, it endangers device/user safety. Therefore, all threats must be removed immediately upon detection.

How did RATDispenser infiltrate my computer?

RATDispenser has been observed being proliferated via email spam campaigns, which are widely used in malware distribution. Spam emails can have infectious files (e.g., PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc.) as attachments or download links. When these files are opened - the infection chain is triggered.

Additionally, since RATDispenser is a JavaScript malware - it is possible that its infections could originate from malicious websites. In other words, this malicious program could infiltrate systems when victims enter compromised sites capable of stealthily installing it.

Malware is also spread through dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders.

Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fraudulent updates are used as well. "Cracks" can infect systems rather than activate licensed software. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing outdated program flaws and/or by installing malicious software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advised against opening suspect and irrelevant emails. Additionally, the attachments/links present in these letters - must never be opened, as doing so can result in a malware infection.

It is just as important to download from official and verified channels. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate tools obtained from official sources.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats and issues. 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.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

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:

Autoruns application appearance

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.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in 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.

Run Windows 8 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.

Run Windows 10 in 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 archive and run Autoruns.exe application

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.

Refresh Autoruns application results

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".

Delete malware in Autoruns

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.

Search for malware and delete 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My computer is infected with RATDispenser malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

No, such drastic measures are unnecessary. RATDispenser can be removed without formatting.

What are the biggest issues that RATDispenser malware can cause?

The threats posed by a malicious program depend on its abilities and the cyber criminals' aims. Since RATDispenser is designed to infiltrate other malware into systems, and it has been observed infecting them with versatile malicious programs - the dangers posed are incredibly varied. The primary threats include - diminished system performance, data loss, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of RATDispenser malware?

Generating revenue is typically the end-goal of malware infections. However, other possible reasons include: cyber criminals' amusement, personal grudges (i.e., targeting specific victims), process disruption (e.g., attacking websites, services, companies, institutions, etc.), political/geopolitical motivations, and so on.

How did RATDispenser malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is usually distributed employing phishing and social engineering tactics. For example, malicious software is proliferating via drive-by downloads, spam mail, online scams (e.g., fake warnings, software updates, etc.), unofficial and freeware download sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, and so forth. Some malicious programs are capable of self-spreading via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all of the known malware infections. However, it is crucial to perform a full system scan since high-end malicious software can be hidden deep within systems.

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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.

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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