njRAT Malware (Remote-Access Trojan)

njRAT is a rising star among the trojan viruses. It acts as a remote-access trojan (RAT), allowing cybercriminals to take control of your PC without your allowance. Besides the remote controlling, njRAT is also able to allow hackers to steal some of your data and log your keystrokes.
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First time when the remote-access trojan was detected refers to January 2013. Since that moment, there have been a lot of plunges and surges in NjRAT activity, but nowadays it shows new and new highs, serving as an omni-purpose malware that can be used solely as well as in pair with ransomware, trojan-miner, or other viruses.

Malware activity statistics in 2020 by uploads

Malware activity statistics in 2020. Data by ANY.RUN1

How can njRAT be injected into my system?

The methods of njRAT distribution are similar to the methods used by other trojan viruses.

A remote-access trojan uses .NET framework vulnerabilities to inject into your computer. This framework is used by developers who use C#, Visual Basic, and other programming languages requiring .NET presence for execution. Also, the programs created using the mentioned languages require this framework to be installed.

The ways of distributing the initial executable files of njRAT are very close to the ones used by other trojan viruses but with their corrections. Besides the “classic” email spamming, njRAT may also be distributed via Discord spam spreading. Compared to other currently active trojans, an increased number of remote-access trojan injections is related to keygens or software for cracking the other programs. The share of malvertising left the same low (about 10% of total cases), likely because people stopped believing in ads like “UPDATE YOUR FLASH PLAYER(Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.) NOW”.

njRAT impact on the infected system

Your system is in danger due to the very high amount of malevolent changes done by the remote-access trojan

It is hard to describe the changes done by any remote-access trojans because they are enormously complex and touch many system elements. It changes several registry entries, which allows it to be launched together with the system and also increases the remote administration capabilities. Besides the registry modifications, njRAT also creates copies of itself in different directories – %TEMP%, %APPDATA%, %USERPROFILE%,%ALLUSERSPROFILE% and/or %windir%; the peculiarity is in the naming: every such file is named differently to any of other files of trojan virus. This trojan can add to the RegSvcs.exe and RegAsm.exe processes, getting even more control of your registry. And the harm that the malevolent interruptions into your registry may cause is enormously high.

Anti-malware software can detect and prevent the launch of RAT. However, security tools are usually powerless for the newest variants of this malware. Its developers obfuscate the random parts of program code, so detecting this virus becomes impossible until the signature for the new version is added to the database.

The danger of remote-access trojans

All personal data you have on your PC, as well as credentials for your online banking accounts and cryptocurrency wallets, may easily be stolen.

As mentioned, njRAT is created as a complex virus, which has the functions of spyware, backdoor, and keylogger. It can steal your credentials and confidential information, banking applications data, and crypto-wallets (the last is enormously actual previous time). Keylogger functions are also targeted on your credentials, but this time even those logins/passwords which are not kept in any keychains are under attack because this ability allows the virus to capture your keystrokes.

Because of deep access to the registry, which njRAT usually obtains after the infiltration, the defensive mechanisms of your system may be weakened to make possible the injection of other harmful viruses, such as coin-miners or ransomware. Such interruptions in the system elements can sometimes be fixed only with Windows reinstallation, which may lead to file losses.


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