Cyber-voyeurs or what we can simply call ‘digital peeping toms’ have the ability to snoop around on your personal affairs and business like:
- Remotely accessing your webcam and capture images of you or anything within the span of vision of your computer’s camera.
- Listen to any conversations using your computer’s microphone.
- Monitor your online activities and access even your password protected sites.
Remote Access Trojans (RATs) or what Symantec simply calls as ‘creepware’ is a kind of malware that can be installed into a PC unit. It allows the attacker to remotely control the system without the knowledge or permission of the owner.
There are various meanings in the acronym of RAT and these include the following:
- Remote Access Tools
- Remote Administration Tools
- Remote Access Trojan
- Remote Administration Trojan
Originally, Remote Access Tools are legitimate tools that can be used for technical support. Unfortunately, malicious individuals had their way of corrupting what is originally good and convert them into what we now know as creepware.
Creepware can be accessed through emails, chatrooms, social networking sites, drive-by downloads and torrents. Here are some of the known samples of creepware:
- Blackshades (W32.Shadesrat)
- Poison Ivy (Backdoor.Darkmoon)
- jRAT (Backdoor.Jeetrat).
- DarkComet (Backdoor.Breut)
One particular Trojan called Trojan.Pandorat was detected by Symantec. This creepware can access files, services, processes, network connections, registry, printers and clipboard. The attackers can perform the following activities using this Trojan:
- cause system failure
- steal passwords of different accounts in various sites
- take screenshots and record webcam + audio
- access webpages and display onscreen messages
Creepy and outrageously intrusive, right? In order to prevent your digital life from being the main dish of these malicious individuals, you can help yourself through the following:
- Install the latest updates in your system by merely clicking on the Automatic updates.
- Install an antivirus software program and be devoted in updating it.
- Use extreme precaution when opening email files most especially if they’re from an unknown source.
- Download files from your trusted sites or sources only.
- Be aware of unexplained webcam activity and keep the webcam shutter closed when you’re not using your webcam.