Remote Access Trojan (RAT)
A tool used to enable criminals to connect to a victim's machine remotely and perform a number of unauthorised actions.
A RAT will allow hackers access to all files, features of your computer (Microphone/Webcam), and even use your computer to distribute malware to other machines.
Signs of a RAT on your system include a slow internet connection, unknown processes running on your systems, and files that have been modified/deleted/installed without permission. Here is some advice to protect against this type of attack:
- Make sure that your operating systems on your computer, mobile & tablet are updated with the latest security patches.
- Update your software with the latest security patches (e.g. Microsoft Office, Java, Flash, web browsers).
- Install reliable antivirus and firewall programs, and keep these updated.
- Don't click on any unusual links or attachments from emails, websites or social media.
- Only download apps from sources that you trust.
- Regularly back up your data.
If you know or suspect you have been infected with a RAT, here's what to do:
- Install security software from a trusted and reliable source.
- Run a full security scan of your device and remove the threats by following the recommended steps from the security software.
- Once you think that the infection has been removed, change the passwords for your online accounts and check your banking activity.
- Report anything unusual to your bank and, as needed, to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040 / www.actionfraud.police.uk).
- Learn how to protect your computer from future infections and avoid data loss by following the steps outlined above, and from handouts such as the NCSC's 'Small Business Guide').