The HotRat malware is a variant of the AsyncRAT malware and is being distributed through free, pirated versions of popular software and utilities, such as video games, image and sound editing software, and Microsoft Office. The malware provides attackers with an array of capabilities, including stealing login credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, conducting screen capturing, keylogging, installing more malware, and accessing or altering clipboard data. The trojan has been prevalent since at least October 2022, with infections concentrated in various countries.
- HotRat is distributed through pirated software available on torrent sites, bundled with a malicious AutoHotkey (AHK) script that initiates an infection chain.
- The malware deactivates antivirus solutions on compromised hosts and delivers the HotRat payload using a Visual Basic Script loader.
- It is described as a comprehensive Remote Access Trojan (RAT) malware, offering nearly 20 commands, with the ability to retrieve .NET modules from remote servers to extend its features.
- Users are strongly advised against downloading pirated software, as it often comes bundled with malware like HotRat. Obtain software from legitimate sources only.
- Employ robust antivirus solutions and keep them updated to help detect and prevent malware infections.
- Be cautious while downloading and installing software from the internet, especially from unofficial sources, to mitigate the risk of malware infections.
HotRat is a sophisticated malware that preys on the temptation of acquiring high-quality software for free through illegal means. Distributing malware through pirated software remains an effective method for widespread propagation. To protect against such threats, users must exercise caution, refrain from using pirated software, and prioritize security measures to defend against HotRat and other malware variants.