Think your computer is injected with a remote access trojan (RAT)? A RAT is a type of malware that allows hackers to take control of internet-connected computers. Once deployed, it will allow the hacker to control the infected computer remotely — and without the knowledge of the operator. Here are six common signs that your computer has been infected with a RAT.
#1) Bandwidth Consumption
Are you consuming more bandwidth than usual? A RAT may be the culprit. RATs are commonly used to create botnets. Hackers will infect hundreds or thousands of computers, after which they’ll use those infected computers to create a botnet. Botnets, of course, consume bandwidth. If you’re suddenly consuming an excessive amount of bandwidth, your computer could be infected with a RAT.
#2) Unknown Processes Running in the Background
The next time you start up your computer, check to see what tasks are running in the background. For a Windows computer, you can use Task Manager. Task Manager will reveal all of the active processes running in the background. If you notice any unknown or suspicious tasks on this list, your computer could be infected with a RAT.
#3) Slow Speeds
A RAT can take a toll on your computer’s performance. Even if you have a high-end computer with the latest processor and memory, it may become slower if it’s infected with a RAT. The RAT itself may have little or no impact on your computer’s speed. Rather, once the hacker begins to control your computer remotely for use in a botnet or other nefarious activities, your computer’s speed will suffer.
#4) Malware Detected
Don’t forget to scan your computer for malware. RATs are a form of malware. More specifically, they fall under the category of trojans. Like all trojans, they allow hackers to covertly infiltrate computers without being detected — at least that’s the goal. Fortunately, antivirus software is capable of detecting RATs. Using antivirus software, perform a full system scan to check your computer for RATs and other forms of malware.
#5) Data Breach
If your personal or sensitive data has been compromised, you may want to check your computer for a RAT. There’s probably a lot of data on your computer. With a RAT, the hacker will be access all of this data. The hacker can control your computer remotely to access and steal the stored data.
#6) Locked or Restricted FIle Access
A RAT may lock or restrict file access on your computer. Some RATs are designed with safeguards to prevent operators from deleting them. Therefore, they may lock or restrict access to the directories in which their malicious files are stored.