Ramnit malware: what it is, how it works, how to remove it

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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  • One of the primary concerns of cyber criminals is to dress the malware/virus in such a way that it avoids detection.
  • Ramnit is a recycled computer worm that has affected many computers over time.
  • Explore our Removal Guides Hub for more useful tools, and recommendations to keep your PC clean and snappy.
  • For helpful tech tutorials, as well as various tips and tricks, take a look at our How-To section.

The anti-virus and anti-malware programs are becoming increasingly powerful and cyber criminals seem to have found a new way to counter this.

Ramnit is one such worm that was recycled from the BullGuard. Recycling a computer worm is nothing but repackaging the worm in such a way that it avoids detection, and still does its job.

Our intention is to explain what Ramnit is, how it can affect your PC, and how to safely remove it. If you’re concerned about the negative effects, look below for detailed explanation.


What is Ramnit?

Ramnit is notorious for infecting Windows executables, Microsoft Office and HTML files. It is known to steal usernames, passwords, browser cookies and will also allow hackers to take control of the infected PC.

Yet another disturbing quirk of Ramnit is that it keeps on replicating itself without the need to be attached to an existing program. In a nutshell, the Ramnit is known to spread across the internet rapidly.

How does it work?

Ramnit is commonly spread via flash drives and it all starts after the Worm (Win32/Ramnit) is copied with a random file name. The infection is at large at sites that promise to offer keygen and cracks.

The Ramnit works by infecting .exe, HTML/HTM files before opening a back door that compromises your computer. This backdoor can be used by a remote attacker to download and execute more malicious files.

If not dealt with in a timely manner the Ramnit infects more files and the entire system might eventually become unusable.


How can I remove Ramnit from an infected PC?

1. Perform a deep antivirus scan

First, you have to run an antivirus scan. Ramnit might have corrupted the .exe, and HTML/HTM files and that compromises your PC.

We strongly recommen the Malwarebytes software to protect you from advanced ransomware infections that encrypt your files.

This program is a virus scanner that removes malicious files and other viruses from your hard drive thanks to its sophisticated technology.

It stops adware, and other online threats with multiple layers of security, including real-time protection.

This great tool uses artificial intelligence to identify emerging threats, and removes all traces of malware on your PC.

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2. Symantec Ramnit removal tool

The Ramnit removal tool by Symantec is specifically designed to detect Ramnit on computers. In order to use this tool, one needs to be logged in as an admin and only then download the executable file.

Please note that the Risk Detected message will appear on the main page when you are trying to scan the virus with Symantec.

The tool will automatically repair all the infected files and also resets the registry values that have been tampered with. Moreover, the tool will also terminate all the processes associated with Ramnit.


3. Bitdefender rootkit remover

The Bitdefender rootkit remover is designed to tackle known rootkits efficiently.

This great tool is capable of removing the following worms: Ramnit, Mayachok, Mybios, Plite, XPaj, Whistler, Alipop, Cpd, Fengd, Fips, Guntior, MBR Locker, Mebratix, Niwa, Ponreb.

The Bitdefender developers have added the definitions for the newer rootkits as well.


4. Format and Reinstall OS

  1. Hold the Windows Key + S.
  2. Type Settings in the search box, and click on it.
  3. Click on Update and Security, and select Recovery.
  4. Under Reset this PC, click Get Started to initiate the reset/refresh.

This solution may seem extreme, but the erasing and reinstalling method remain the best, especially when you are dealing with rootkits. Before using this solution, don’t forget to back up all your files

Some security analysts claim that the Rammnit is not disinfectable and it’s always advisable to format your PC.

Once a system has been affected by a backdoor Trojan, it is very difficult to sweep the remnants and in some cases, the files become corrupted this making the entire system unstable.


That being said it’s also wise to employ some precautionary measures, for instance always make it a point to scan the email attachments.

Ensure that your antivirus suite is updated to the latest version and the same goes for the Windows 10 build.

We hope at least one of these solutions was helpful. In case you have any subject-related questions or suggestions, just reach for the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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