BlackShades Description

The BlackShades Remote Controller is a backdoor Trojan (also known as a RAT or Remote Administration Tool) and spyware that’s used to monitor and steal private information via keylogging, screenshot-grabbing and similar attacks. BlackShades achieved a headline-worthy status for its involvement in the Syrian military conflict – namely, as an attacker against increasingly-sophisticated and technologically canny anti-government activists. The top means of infection by BlackShades is via Skype instant messages, which attempt to infect new victims by portraying BlackShades as a safe video file in the .pif format. As a threat to your ability to control your PC or safeguard it against privacy invasions, BlackShades should be removed quickly and by the application of the best anti-malware program that’s available for your usage. malware researchers also recommend a full system scan to revert any system changes or related PC threats that can be associated with a BlackShades attack.

BlackShades – a Russian Blackout on Your Computer’s Right to Self-Determination

BlackShades is especially known for its involvement in the computerized half of Syria’s ongoing military conflict, but as a Russian ‘product’ that’s up for sale to anyone with just forty dollars, BlackShades can also endanger PCs in other locations just as BlackShades does with Syrian activists and journalists. Standard distribution mechanisms for BlackShades use hijacked Skype accounts that offer up a seemingly important video link that actually includes the RAT portion of BlackShades, which can be used to control a computer from a remote server. While malware analysts have found all forms of RATs similar to BlackShades to have a high degree of potential damage in their payloads, BlackShades is also noted for its inclusion of spying features.

Some, but not all of BlackShades’s significant attacks include:
  • Recording keyboard input to steal passwords and equivalently-confidential data.
  • Capturing screenshots for similar purposes.
  • Monitoring data that are entered into forms for various websites, webcam input and even e-mail transmissions.
  • Automatically distributing itself to your Skype contacts (and making it appear as if you had sent out this fake video file yourself).
  • Using encryption-based techniques to conceal itself from anti-malware programs.

    » Learn more about SpyHunter's Spyware Detection Tool
    and steps to uninstall SpyHunter.

    This makes updating your anti-malware applications a critical part of detecting and protecting yourself from BlackShades.
  • A final and especially worrisome function included in BlackShades is its ability to use ransomware Trojan-style encryption attacks. These attacks encrypt various files on your PC, which makes them unusable. However, malware experts also emphasize that this attack isn’t a default part of BlackShades’s behavior and appears to be included as an optional ‘feature.’

Keeping BlackShades and Its War Off of Your Computer

Because BlackShades can be used for a wide range of other attacks, including making unauthorized system changes or installing extra PC threats, malware analysts strongly discourage anything other than deleting BlackShades as soon as you suspect that BlackShades is on your computer. Many PC security companies have updated their software to be able to detect and remove BlackShades effectively, and quickly accomplishing this will reduce the chances of BlackShades causing long-term damage to your computer.

BlackShades’s attacks appear to be just the latest in a series of online attacks that target anti-Syrian rebels, and evidence points to these attacks being conducted by the same hackers that were responsible for distributing DarkComet RATs via Youtube. Given these facts, malware researchers recommend that PC users in that region keep their guard up and be cautious about interacting with strange links – even if these links are sent out by a friend or acquaintance. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that non-Syrian residents are immune to BlackShades, which includes many features that could compromise PCs for illicit profit all over the world.

BlackShades Automatic Detection Tool (Recommended)

Is your PC infected with BlackShades? To safely & quickly detect BlackShades we highly recommend you run the malware scanner listed below.

Technical Details

File System Modifications

Tutorials: If you wish to learn how to remove malware components manually, you can read the tutorials on how to find malware, kill unwanted processes, remove malicious DLLs and delete other harmful files. Always be sure to back up your PC before making any changes.
  • The following files were created in the system:
    # File Name
    1 %CurrentFolder%\[THREAT FILE NAME].exe
    2 %System%\winlogin.exe
    3 %SYSTEM_DRIVE%\Programs\4.8\client.exe
    4 %Temp%\Application Data\data.dat
    5 %Temp%\D3D8THK.exe
    6 %Temp%\local3.exe
    7 %UserProfile%\Application Data\data.dat
    8 %UserProfile%\Application Data\EZSpammer.exe
    9 %UserProfile%\Templates\VSCover.exe

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Posted: June 25, 2012 | By
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Threat Metric
Threat Level: 9/10

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