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Danger level 7
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Gh0st RAT

Gh0st RAT is a Trojan infection that was, originally, released by C. Rufus Security Team back in 2008. It is believed that it could have been mainly used to spy on certain institutions in Tibet. Some say that this was done by the Chinese government, whereas others suspect that Russia and the United States were the ones involved in this. The operation called GhostNet affected at least 1295 computers in 103 countries, causing problems to diplomatic, political, economic, and military targets. It is hard to say whether GhostNet is still active, but we are sure that users owning completely unprotected computers might encounter Gh0st RAT one day too. Ten years later, it is publicly available at GitHub. As a consequence, it might be downloaded and customized to fit the needs of cyber criminals. Its distribution is their responsibility too, so it is not easy to say how this Trojan is spread, which suggests that it will not be easy to prevent it from entering systems either. Like similar threats, Gh0st RAT tries to slither onto computers unnoticed and, on top of that, it performs activities in the background. As a consequence, the majority of users do not even suspect that this malicious application is active on their computers. If you are reading this article because you have already detected it on your PC, make sure you remove this infection from the system. The sooner you do this, the better.

Since the builder of Gh0st RAT has been made publicly available, anyone having bad intentions can use it to create their own customized versions of Gh0st RAT. Consequently, it might not work the same in all the cases. We cannot tell you exactly how the version you have encountered works, but research conducted by specialists working at has clearly shown that it might perform a bunch of malicious activities. They will all be performed in the background, so you will not even know about them. For example, Gh0st RAT can access the list of active processes and terminate the ones it wants, shutdown or reboot the compromised machine, download and upload files from/to the compromised machine, provide real-time and offline keylogging, access webcam and microphone, and even take control of the remote screen on the compromised machine. Last but not least, specialists have observed that it can connect to the Internet without permission. Most probably, it does that to be able to send stolen information from the victim’s machine to its C&C server.

Our experienced specialists observed during the analysis of Gh0st RAT they carried out that this Trojan infection is often distributed in the form of an .exe or .dll file, but it might also have another filename extension, e.g. .pic or .jpg. In most cases, this Trojan infection works from %PROGRAMFILES%, %WINDIR%\SysWOW64, %WINDIR%, %PROGRAMFILES(x86)%, or %ALLUSERSPROFILE%. Of course, it is not a full list. The name of the malicious file might be random too, meaning that it will not be very easy to find it on the affected system and delete it. As for the point of execution of Gh0st RAT, i.e. the place this Trojan infection launches from, it might vary from the Startup folder to the Run registry key or some kind of Windows Service. Users who do not want to discover this nasty malicious application on their computers should remember that it is mainly distributed via malicious cracks and keygens, hacked RDPs, and the so-called phishing attacks. We know that it is not so easy to prevent harmful malicious applications from entering the system, which is why we also recommend having a reputable security application enabled 24/7. It will make sure your system stays malware-free.

If it has turned out that there is Gh0st RAT active on your computer, you need to erase it from your system as soon as possible. Unfortunately, since it is quite sophisticated malware, you will need to put some effort into its removal if you decide to delete it manually. First, you need to identify the malicious process and kill it in Task Manager. Then, you need to find the malicious file and remove it from the system. Last but not least, you need to remove the point of execution file. If you cannot locate any components of Gh0st RAT, you can clean your system automatically. What do you need to do? First, install a reputable malware remover on your computer. Second, launch it to get your system cleaned.

How to remove Gh0st RAT

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Open the Processes tab.
  3. Check all processes and select the one associated with Gh0st RAT.
  4. Right-click it and select Open File Location.
  5. Kill the process (right-click it and select End Now/End Process).
  6. Delete the malicious file from the opened directory.
  7. Find and remove the point of execution file (check the Startup folder and the Run registry key first).
  8. Empty Trash.
  9. Use a diagnostic scanner to check whether your system is clean.
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