RATS or Remote Access Trojans have gone a long way from the prank tool 90s kids used to spook their friends.
From simply opening CD trays and controlling computers remotely to scare their victims, it has evolved into some of the most prevalent malware in the wild.
Here's everything you need to know about this Trojan and what you can do about a RAT infestation.
What Is a RAT?
A RAT is a Trojan, a type of malware disguised as something else that victims need—like a legitimate file, program, or app. It tricks victims into downloading and then activating it so it can spread into the system.
A RAT gives cybercriminals complete, unlimited, and remote access to a victim's computer. Once activated, it can hide within the system for many months and remain undetected. It connects the victim's device to a command and control (C&C) server controlled by hackers.
The C&C acts as a remote host that sends commands to the Trojan in the victim's computer. It can record all your on-screen activities, access and steal PII (personally identifiable information) like social security numbers, pilfer financial information like credit card details, take screenshots of the screen, hijack the webcam or microphone, and record or harvest keystrokes.