Trojan Horses and RATs

Trojan Horse and RATs

So you want to know what’s all this talk about Horsies and disgusting Rats in the computer world, well it’s very simple and is a vital piece of 90% of Black Hat Hackers. Now in defense of myself and reputation, I’ll also say that while its a VERY effective tool, it’s become very much over played and labeled as script-kiddish and lame amongst more Elite Black Hat hackers.

What is it?

A Trojan Horse and a RAT are one in the same thing, malware designed to give the hacker complete control over the infected computer. The main separation point between Trojan Horses and RATs are how they’re presented to the infected computer: Trojan Horses are disguised as other legitmate pieces of software and the RAT is silently executed, where as RATs are more so introduced knowingly. The term RAT is simply an acronym for Remote Administrator Tool (or Remote Admin Trojan). For simplicity I’m going to strictly use the term RAT from now on since it’s the same thing.

What do they do?

Rats all seem to show very common traits for the Hacker:

  • Remote Screen Sharing and Control (like VNC, Remote Desktop, etc)
  • Remote Shutdown, Logoff, Sleep controls
  • Remote File Manager
  • Remote Command Prompt and Registry editor

Basically think that anything you can do on your computer, the Hacker can do on your computer from afar. Scary isn’t it?

Now I can’t go off and say there’s no good White Hat Hacker’s use for this type of software, and in fact a lot of reputable businesses use such software. In fact, a RAT with just the bullets that I posted are the common ingredients for a successful application to be used for legitimate reasons. Schools, Employers, and such all could and some do use software like this to keep an eye on their computers, fix issues as they arise, all without having to be at the system themselves.

Some things though that you’ll find in a Black Hat’s RAT would include all the above and :

  • Remote Webcam Viewer (captures your webcam)
  • Remote Keylogger (captures every key you type)
  • Remote Microphone Listener (captures what you say)
  • Remote Microphone Broadcaster (speaks through your speakers)
  • and much more scary things


Popular White Hat RATs

  • GoToMyPC
  • Teamviewer
  • LogMeIn

Popular Black Hat Rats

  • Bifrost
  • Cybergate
  • Poison Ivy



Don’t worry, thats not all, I’ll soon be posting about how RATs spread, how they’re hidden, show examples of some, etc. All as we welcome in the new year.

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