Throughout history, rats have been regarded as filthy vermin responsible for damaging property, destroying food, and spreading parasites and diseases that have caused great devastation. At the slightest sign of a rat infestation, most people act immediately to eliminate the invading pests and prevent future intrusion, damage and risk.
Remote Administration Tools (RATs), like their namesake, often cause great damage. RATs are potentially harmful software created with the intent of providing an undetected operator unauthorized access and control of a remote system. Unlike many desktop sharing and remote administration systems that have been developed for legitimate, authorized and legal use, "RAT" software is commonly used for malicious, illegal activity.
RAT software is generally installed covertly and used without the victim's knowledge. The malicious software is intentionally designed to hide its presence and operation from the victim and from the host computer’s security software, and in many cases may be fully undetectable. In order to install a RAT program, a RAT controller must somehow get his victim’s IP address, or infect the victim’s computer with a disguised RAT trojan file.
RAT controllers stalk their victims on the internet, frequently using social media channels and chat rooms where they share their malware with unsuspecting victims. They also disguise their files as popular programs, music or movie files and embed them in file sharing networks, Peer-to-Peer Software and free internet downloads. After the malware has been downloaded onto the victim’s computer it will clandestinely install itself and may also disable or delete antivirus and firewall software, rendering the victim and their computer completely defenseless.