THREAT REMOVAL

GravityRAT Trojan – How to Detect and Remove It from Windows

This article has been created in order to help you to learn what is the GravityRAT remote access Trojan and how to remove this malware completely from your computer plus protect your PC against future infections as well.

A new Trojan horse has been detected by security researchers. The malware’s primary purpose is to infiltrate while remaining unnoticed in victim PC’s. Named GravityRAT, the Trojan aims to control your computer from distance, something that is very similar to a remote control. Only that remote control is in the hands of the cyber-criminals. Such an infection may enable GravityRAT to do all sorts of malicious things to your PC, including stealing your data, passwords and even important files, plus the malware may also infect your PC with all sorts of other malicious applications as well. If your PC has been affected by this malicious application, you should read the following article and learn how to remove this Trojan and secure your PC.

Threat Summary

Name GravityRAT
Type Remote Access Trojan (RAT)
Short Description Aims to remain undetected for long periods of time on your computer after which may do what the operator wants it to do (steal data, take screenshots, etc.).
Symptoms Your computer may start to behave in a weird manner. You may notice new and strange files or processes running in the background.
Distribution Method Via malicious e-email attachments, fake setups, web links or other objects.
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GravityRAT – Distribution Methods

In order to be infect the computers of unsuspecting users, the GravityRAT may engage in multiple different infection activities, the main of which is believed to be via spam e-mail messages. Such messages often pretend to be legitimate as in the fact that they imitate big companies, like the example e-mail below, used to infect with another remote access trojan by posing as a Dropbox activation link:

In addition to via e-mail, Trojans, like GravityRAT may also come into your computer by being downloaded as files, you may have been misled to thinking are legitimate. Such files are often attachments on e-mails, like fake Invoices or other forms of documents or:

  • Fake setups of programs.
  • Fake key generators.
  • Fake software license activators.
  • Fake patches, cracks or other executable types of files.

GravityRAT – Purpose and Activity

GravityRAT is a remote access Trojan – this basically means that the threat is not the type of malware that contains one or two malicious files. GravityRAT has a lot of malicious files and folders, which are dropped by it upon infecting the victims. These files may be under different names and may exist in the most often used by malware Windows folders, such as:

After dropping it’s payload, GravityRAT may heavily modify the Windows Registry Editor, starting with attacking the Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys in order to make it’s malicious modules start automatically alongside Windows.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

After doing so, GravityRAT may initiate it’s full potential. For starters, the malware may connect to a remote host from which it may download and run absolutely any type of file on your computer. This is because the GravityRAT malware obtains administrative privileges by interfering with crucial Windows components that are responsible for that.

Among the activities of GravityRAT is to search your computer for any Antivirus programs and decide what to do. If there is danger for the malware’s “cryptor” also known as obfuscation software to be detected, then the malware may take the appropriate actions.

The main purpose of GravityRAT however is to aim at the important documents of your computer, such as:

  • PDF types of files.
  • Scanned photos.
  • Scanned Microsoft Word files.
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
  • Images.
  • Other often used types of files.

The main goal of GravityRAT does not stop it from doing other information stealing and collection and also other nefarious actions on your computer, like:

  • Create copies of itself to fool you into thinking you or your antivirus software has removed the threat.
  • Steal your passwords and other important information saved on your PC.
  • Copy text from your documents.
  • Log the keystrokes you type to steal passwords and other critical data (financial information).
  • Download and install other malware on your computer.
  • Update it’s obfuscation software to remain hidden for longer periods of time.
  • Delete files and damage Windows.
  • Control the hardware of your computer. (Eject flash drives, eject CD/DVD drives, etc.)

Remove GravityRAT from Your Computer

In order to make sure that this nefarious software is completely gone from your computer, security researchers strongly advise following the manual or automatic removal instructions underneath. They are created in order to assist you based on how much experience you have in malware removal. If you lack such experience, be advised that security analysts strongly advise to download an advanced anti-malware software and remove GravityRAT automatically by scanning for all of it’s objects and changed settings and reverting them back to normal. Such tool has the capability to not only fully secure your PC after removing GravityRAT, but also make sure it’s operating system remains protected against future intrusions that might take place.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove GravityRAT from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GravityRAT

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall GravityRAT and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GravityRAT on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GravityRAT there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for GravityRAT with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of GravityRAT from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall GravityRAT and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to GravityRAT:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to GravityRAT. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to GravityRAT. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove GravityRAT via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as GravityRAT. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GravityRAT from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase GravityRAT from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall GravityRAT from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GravityRAT from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the GravityRAT will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate GravityRAT from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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