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Remove BalkanRAT Trojan From Your PC

BalkanRAT Trojan imageWhat is BalkanRAT? How to remove BalkanRAT Trojan from your PC or Mac?

The BalkanRAT Trojan is a dangerous malware threat which is designed for Microsoft Windows computers. It can be acquired from various sources, every attack campaign can focus on one specific tactic. Usually virus infections like this one are made by interacting with an infected file — this can be either a macro-infected document or a hacker-made software installer. They are often made by taking the legitimate files from their official sources and modifying them with the necessary virus code. Other data can also be affected. All kinds of other data may be used as well — this includes malicious plugins for web browsers and etc. In other cases the hackers can use a direct attacks that will look for system vulnerabilities and weaknesses. If any are found then the BalkanRAT Trojan will be installed.

This particular threat is known for being spread using a multitude of weaknesses. It is set against both end users and servers. After the infection has been made the BalkanRAT Trojan can download other threats, launch multiple dangerous modules and install a cryptocurrency miner which will run a sequence of performance-demanding tasks.

Threat Summary

Name BalkanRAT Trojan
Type Malware, Trojan, Miner
Short Description A dangerous malware which can launch a miner and start a Trojan module.
Symptoms The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.
Distribution Method Common distribution tactics and direct web attacks.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss BalkanRAT Trojan.

BalkanRAT Trojan – How Did I Get It

The BalkanRAT Trojan is a dangerous threat which will start a malicious infection. At the moment the security researchers have detected that the main method which is being used is the coordination of email phishing messages which can focus on different strategies. The main goal of all of them will be to manipulate the recipients into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification:

  • Special Web Offers — The recipients will receive promotional contents that will be presented as images, multimedia contents and links that once interacted with will lead to the BalkanRAT Trojan deployment.
  • Service Notifications — The criminals can fake legitimate messages such as password reset prompts, message notifications and other related emails.
  • Update Messages — The criminals can send out messages that will notify the recipients that need to apply a new software, game or operating system update. It will be directly attached to the messages or linked in it. When opened the BalkanRAT Trojan will be deployed to the victim systems.
  • Infected Documents — A large part of the attacks appear to be focused on sending out macro-infected documents such as invoices and receipts. When they are opened by the victims the built-in scripts will trigger the infection.

The BalkanRAT Trojan is currently set against the following countries: Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the security researchers the attacks are done in campaigns that peaked during certain periods. Versions of the Trojan code have been used since 2016, the most recent one has been detected in July 2019. In one of its many forms it is found as a PDF document or an ACE archive disguised as WinRAR archive file. This is done in order to attempt exploitation of the CVE-2018-20250 vulnerability which affects the WinRAR software.

BalkanRAT Trojan – What Does It Do

When the BalkanRAT has been deployed onto a given host it will immediately start its built-in infection sequence. The main engine has the ability to check the current status of the host — whether or not an user is actively using it or not. The Trojan will actively work via a special payload that will be dropped onto the infected hosts called BalkanDoor backdoor. In the current version this is done in order to carry out the intended malicious activities.

If the screen is locked or other security mechanisms are placed they will be bypassed and the threat will take over control of the infected hosts. At the moment it appears that the main goal of the threat is to carry out espionage and surveillance. One of the motives which are seen as the main ones is financial abuse. A fact which proves this is the deployment of a special tool which can identify if there are any installed smart cards in the file system. They are frequently used to provide user authentication to services, especially online banking.

The BalkanDoor backdoor script has been updated across the live campaigns and so far there have been six major releases of it. Not only will it deploy itself on the target system by unpacking many virus-related files, but also create a persistent installation. This is done by installing the malware as a Windows service and modifying the Windows Registry by creating new entries for itself.

The BalkanRAT Trojan and the associated backdoor will then run the built-in Trojan horse instance. It is set to establish a secure and persistent connection to a hacker-defined server. If the initial connection cannot be made the backdoor will resort to a modification of the Internet settings — the traffic will be redirected to a hacker-controlled proxy server. This step will guarantee that the hackers can effectively monitor the users web activities and also access the server. The main engine and associated virus module are masked from the system by pretending to be legitimate software or utility scripts. The processes can hook to existing ones, including operating system ones. Code injections can happen in real-time which means that the malware can edit the users input without them noticing.

The BalkanDoor backdoor is commanded through several short commands which are sent by the hackers to the infected hosts. They can specify the computer name and command them to download specific malware. Specific actions can be ordered in order to launch executable and malware data with certain parameters. To spy on the victims more effectively the hackers can order the engine to create screenshots at set intervals. If direct access to the infected hosts is required the engine can create a remote shell. Specific actions can be run as instructed.

Given the complexity of the threat we assume that there are several malicious consequences that can take place after the infection has started:

  • Malware Delivery — Using the Trojan components it is relatively easy to deploy other threats to the already compromised hosts. Popular ones are cryptocurrency miners which are dangerous scripts which are designed to download a sequence of small complex mathematical tasks — they take advantage of the main hardware components and lead to severe performance issues. When one of them is reported back to the hackers they will receive cryptocurrency that will be directly wired to their digital wallets. The other popular threat which can be sent is the ransomware infection — malicious viruses that will lock sensitive user data and extort the victims into paying the hackers a decryption fee.
  • Information Gathering — Using the dangerous module the BalkanRAT can be used to gather a lot of sensitive data from the infected hosts. This can include the victim users themselves, as well as their computers. This is done by searching for specific strings such as a person’s name, address, mobile phone number and any stored credentials.
  • System Manipulation — What’s particularly worrying about the BalkanRAT Trojan is that it can cause a wide range of changes in the infected system. Modifications to the boot options also include the blocking of access to the recovery boot options which can make manual user recovery very difficult. The editing of certain configuration files can further produce errors.

The known signatures which are attributed to the virus are the following:

Win32/BalkanDoor.A, Win32/BalkanDoor.B, Win32/BalkanRAT.A, Win32/BalkanRAT.B, Win64/BalkanRAT.A, Win64/BalkanRAT.B

How to Remove BalkanRAT Trojan

In order to fully remove BalkanRAT from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see BalkanRAT or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of BalkanRAT files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Preparation before removing BalkanRAT Trojan.

Before starting the actual removal process, we recommend that you do the following preparation steps.

  • Make sure you have these instructions always open and in front of your eyes.
  • Do a backup of all of your files, even if they could be damaged. You should back up your data with a cloud backup solution and insure your files against any type of loss, even from the most severe threats.
  • Be patient as this could take a while.
  • Scan for Malware
  • Fix Registries
  • Remove Virus Files

Step 1: Scan for BalkanRAT Trojan 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.

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 1

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

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 2

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 Scan Step 3

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

Step 2: Clean any registries, created by BalkanRAT Trojan 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 BalkanRAT Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 6

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 7

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 8 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.

Step 3: Find virus files created by BalkanRAT Trojan on your PC.

1.For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Newer Windows Operating Systems

1: On your keyboard press + R and write explorer.exe in the Run text box and then click on the Ok button.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 9

2: Click on your PC from the quick access bar. This is usually an icon with a monitor and its name is either “My Computer”, “My PC” or “This PC” or whatever you have named it.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 10

3: Navigate to the search box in the top-right of your PC's screen and type “fileextension:” and after which type the file extension. If you are looking for malicious executables, an example may be "fileextension:exe". After doing that, leave a space and type the file name you believe the malware has created. Here is how it may appear if your file has been found:

file extension malicious

N.B. We recommend to wait for the green loading bar in the navigation box to fill up in case the PC is looking for the file and hasn't found it yet.

2.For Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

For Older Windows Operating Systems

In older Windows OS's the conventional approach should be the effective one:

1: Click on the Start Menu icon (usually on your bottom-left) and then choose the Search preference.

Remove Virus Trojan

2: After the search window appears, choose More Advanced Options from the search assistant box. Another way is by clicking on All Files and Folders.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 11

3: After that type the name of the file you are looking for and click on the Search button. This might take some time after which results will appear. If you have found the malicious file, you may copy or open its location by right-clicking on it.

Now you should be able to discover any file on Windows as long as it is on your hard drive and is not concealed via special software.

BalkanRAT Trojan FAQ

What Does BalkanRAT Trojan Trojan Do?

The BalkanRAT Trojan Trojan is a malicious computer program designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

It can be used to steal sensitive data, gain control over a system, or launch other malicious activities.

Can Trojans Steal Passwords?

Yes, Trojans, like BalkanRAT Trojan, can steal passwords. These malicious programs are designed to gain access to a user's computer, spy on victims and steal sensitive information such as banking details and passwords.

Can BalkanRAT Trojan Trojan Hide Itself?

Yes, it can. A Trojan can use various techniques to mask itself, including rootkits, encryption, and obfuscation, to hide from security scanners and evade detection.

Can a Trojan be Removed by Factory Reset?

Yes, a Trojan can be removed by factory resetting your device. This is because it will restore the device to its original state, eliminating any malicious software that may have been installed. Bear in mind, that there are more sophisticated Trojans, that leave backdoors and reinfect even after factory reset.

Can BalkanRAT Trojan Trojan Infect WiFi?

Yes, it is possible for a Trojan to infect WiFi networks. When a user connects to the infected network, the Trojan can spread to other connected devices and can access sensitive information on the network.

Can Trojans Be Deleted?

Yes, Trojans can be deleted. This is typically done by running a powerful anti-virus or anti-malware program that is designed to detect and remove malicious files. In some cases, manual deletion of the Trojan may also be necessary.

Can Trojans Steal Files?

Yes, Trojans can steal files if they are installed on a computer. This is done by allowing the malware author or user to gain access to the computer and then steal the files stored on it.

Which Anti-Malware Can Remove Trojans?

Anti-malware programs such as SpyHunter are capable of scanning for and removing Trojans from your computer. It is important to keep your anti-malware up to date and regularly scan your system for any malicious software.

Can Trojans Infect USB?

Yes, Trojans can infect USB devices. USB Trojans typically spread through malicious files downloaded from the internet or shared via email, allowing the hacker to gain access to a user's confidential data.

About the BalkanRAT Trojan Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this BalkanRAT Trojan how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific trojan problem.

How did we conduct the research on BalkanRAT Trojan?

Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of trojans (backdoor, downloader, infostealer, ransom, etc.)

Furthermore, the research behind the BalkanRAT Trojan threat is backed with VirusTotal.

To better understand the threat posed by trojans, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

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