How to remove VileRAT from the operating system

Also Known As: VileRAT remote administration trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is VileRAT?

VileRAT is the name of a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) - malware that gives the attacker administrative control over a target computer. It is known that cybercriminals behind VileRAT are targeting foreign and cryptocurrency exchanges. This RAT is capable of executing remote commands, keylogging, and other things.

VileRAT malware

VileRAT functionalities

VileRAT's ability to execute arbitrary remote commands allows cybercriminals to perform malicious activities via Command Prompt. Threat actors can use this feature to download and execute files, delete (or manage) files stored on a computer, open websites, end/kill processes, and many more.

Also, VileRAT can log keystrokes. It means that threat actors can obtain any data typed with the keyboard of the infected computer. This feature is used to steal sensitive information. Threat actors use it to obtain login credentials (e.g., usernames, passwords), credit card details, ID card information, etc.

Additionally, VileRAT can update itself from a Command and Control server, list antivirus software installed on the infected computer, establish SSH connections to a remote server, and set up persistence using Windows Task Scheduler by creating scheduled tasks.

Threat Summary:
Name VileRAT remote administration trojan
Threat Type Remote Administration Trojan (RAT)
Detection Names (Malicious Document) Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.61146629), Emsisoft (Trojan.GenericKD.61146629 (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.MSOffice.Dotmer.gen), Symantec (W97M.Downloader), Full List (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (VileRAT) Avast (Win32:TrojanX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Generic.31178156), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Python/Pyvil.B.gen), Kaspersky (Trojan.Python.Agent.db), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Casdet!rfn), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms VileRat stealthily infiltrates the victim's computer and remains silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, additional computer infections, loss of online accounts, monetary loss.
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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More about VileRAT

Cybercriminals behind VileRAT frequently update their malware and improve techniques that allow this RAT to avoid antivirus detection. Judging by the capabilities of VileRAT, it is used to steal sensitive information, spy on victims, or even distribute other malware. More examples of RATs with similar features are Woody RAT, ApolloRAT, and Nerbian RAT.

How did VileRAT infiltrate my computer?

Threat actors distribute VileRAT by sending emails containing an MS Word document. This document downloads a malicious and macro-enabled document. The Word document starts the infection chain after users enable macros commands (editing/content). Emails used to deliver VileRAT are disguised as official letters from legitimate companies.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments and links in suspicious emails (e.g., irrelevant emails sent from unknown addresses). Download software from official websites. Do not use P2P networks, third-party downloaders, shady pages and similar sources to download software/files.

Keep the installed software (and the operating system) up to date. Never use third-party tools to update (or activate) any software. It must be achieved using tools provided by the official developers. 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.

Malicious document distributing VileRAT:

vilerat malware malicious document distributing vilerat

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:

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 VileRAT malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

No, it is not necessary to format the storage device. This malware can be removed with a properly set up endpoint protection solution.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

It depends on the capabilities of the malware. In most cases, victims lose money, cannot access online accounts, become victims of identity theft, have their files encrypted or computers infected with additional malware, etc.

What is the purpose of VileRAT malware?

This malware can log keystrokes and execute arbitrary commands. Thus, it can be used to steal sensitive information and cause other damage (depending on the executed commands).

How my computer became infected with VileRAT malware?

It is known that VileRAT is distributed via email by sending letters with a Microsoft Word document attached to them. Computers become infected after opening that document and enabling macros commands (editing/content).

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware from computers. Since high-end malware usually hides deep in the system, running a quick scan is not enough to detect it. Computers infected with such malware must be scanned using a full scan.

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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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