The NetWiredRC Trojan is a dangerous weapon used against computer users worldwide. It infects mainly via infected software installers. Our article gives an overview of its behavior according to the collected samples and available reports, also it may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The NetWiredRC Trojan is a computer virus that is designed to silently infiltrate computer systems.|
|Symptoms||The victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.|
|Distribution Method||Software Vulnerabilities, Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss NetWiredRC Trojan.|
NetWiredRC Trojan – Distribution Methods
The NetWiredRC Trojan is a dangerous weapon that is used by the criminal collective known as the APT33 group. It is widely used in attack campaigns that infect target machines mainly via vulnerability exploitation. The Trojan is used as the main payload during the infections. The malware can also be distributed using alternative methods in future campaigns.
The Trojan can be used in email phishing campaigns which is one of the most popular ways to spread malware to victims en-masse. The virus installation scripts will be installed via the built-in body contents. They can contain all kinds of links, pop-ups, redirects and other scripts that can activate the infection. In other cases the Trojan file can be attached directly to the emails.
Advanced forms of Trojan delivery tactics include the setup of the virus infection in file payloads. This means that by interacting with another object that seems legitimate and safe to the victims. There are two popular variants that are used with this technique:
- Infected Documents — This strategy can be used with the macro scripts that are embedded in documents of all popular types: spreadsheets, presentations, databases and text files. Whenever such a file is accessed a notification message will pop-up asking the users to enable them. The quoted reason that is given is to “correctly view” the document.
- Setup Installers — The other tactic depends on the inclusion of the virus installation commands in installers of popular software. The criminals will take the legitimate files from their official sources and modify them accordingly. All popular software can be victims of this tactic: creativity suites, productivity and office tools, system utilities and etc.
These files can also be uploaded to malicious sites which represent fake copies of legitimate services, products or companies. The users might be confused into thinking that they have accessed the real site by using similar sounding domain names and security certificates. These fake portals may even copy the design and body elements which makes it very difficult to tell the two pages apart.
In other cases malicious browser plugins can be used. They are uploaded to the relevant repositories of the browsers with fake user reviews and developer credentials. This is done in order to persuade the visitors into installing them. Usually the descriptions offered include the addition of new features or enhancements. As soon as they are installed the default settings will be changed in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled landing page. At the same time the NetWiredRC Trojan will also be deployed, possibly with other malware as well.
NetWiredRC Trojan – Detailed Description
As soon as the NetWiredRC Trojan is launched it will start immediatelyt to infect the victim computer. This is done by dropping a file in the current’s users folder under a temporary location. It will serve as the main local client which will be run at a next step.
The next step is to make sure that a persistent state is maintained. This is done by setting up the appropriate Windows Registry key. The manipulation of the Registry shows that the client is fully capable of creating, modifying and deleting existing entries. This can lead to very serious performance issues with the computer making it unstable. Modifications to services and program entries can make them quit with unexpected errors.
A connection with a hacker-controlled server will then be established allowing the hacker operators to access the compromised machines.
When the connection is established another set of commands will be started that will search for any security software that can block the Trojan installation. Any detected ones will be disabled and entirely removed, this process is referred to as security bypass. It can scan for apps like anti-virus programs, sandbox and debug environments, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. They will be disabled or removed.
What follows is a data harvesting process that has the ability to search for a variety of sensitive information that can be found on the compromised machines. The captured samples were found to acquire the following data:
- Regional Settings and Localization
- Personal Settings
- Windows Version
- Computer Name
- Installed Applications
- Compatability Information
The established connection with the hacker-controlled server allows the spy on the victims, take over control of their machines and steal valuable data. Other malicious behavior that is observed is the timed creation of screenshots at regular intervals. They are sent to the hackers as image files allowing them to monitor the sequence of user interaction. Using this mechanism the NetWiredRC Trojan can also search for sensitive information about the victims themselves. It can be used across a wide rage of crimes: identity theft, financial abuse and blackmail. Information that can be retrieved includes the following: name, address, location, interests, emails and any stored account credentials (username, email and password combinations).
The modular code base on which the Trojan is conceinved allows the hackers to carry out a wide range of commands:
- Identification and password configuration and computer data retrieval
- Process creation from a local file
- File retrieval from a remote URL and process creation
- Stop the running threads
- Removal of the auto-start Registry keys, cleanup and quit
- Identified addition
- Retrieval and sending of hard disk contents
- Files modification
- Closing of open files
- Execution of files
- Deletion of files
- Folder creation
- Copying of files
- Remote shell startup
- Write into pipe
- Tid reset of the remote shell
- Configuration settings collection
- Retrieval of logged in users
- Retrieval of running processes
- Process termination
- Windows enumeration
- Keyboard events set
- Mouse button press
- Cursor position set
- Screenshot capture
- Location and sending of files with time attributes
- Log files deletion
- Retrieval and sending of stored account credentials
- Retrieval and sending of stored email credentials
- SOCKS proxy setup and modification
- Audio devices information retrieval
- Start audio recording
- Stop audio recording
- Files search
- Files search with MD5
- Database queries execution
As the Trojan is based on a modular code base further changes can be implemented in future versions.
- Guide 1: How to Remove NetWiredRC Trojan from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of NetWiredRC Trojan from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove NetWiredRC Trojan from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase NetWiredRC Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall NetWiredRC Trojan from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove NetWiredRC Trojan from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate NetWiredRC Trojan from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove NetWiredRC Trojan from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove NetWiredRC Trojan
Step 2: Uninstall NetWiredRC Trojan 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by NetWiredRC Trojan on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by NetWiredRC Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of NetWiredRC Trojan from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall NetWiredRC Trojan and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 NetWiredRC Trojan 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
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.
Remove NetWiredRC Trojan 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.
Erase NetWiredRC Trojan 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.
Uninstall NetWiredRC Trojan 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.
Remove NetWiredRC Trojan 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the NetWiredRC Trojan will be removed.
Eliminate NetWiredRC Trojan 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.