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Also known as: Lime remote access trojan (LimeRAT)

Category: Malware

Type: Remote access trojan (RAT)

Platform: Windows

Variants: Win32/LimeRat.YA!MTB, Trojan.Win32.LIMERAT.AC, Trojan.MSIL.Crypt.hjfa, Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT, Troj.Win32.TRX.XXPE50FFF034

Damage potential: Data theft, credential harvesting, cryptocurrency mining, ransomware deployment, DDoS attacks


LimeRAT is a remote access trojan that hackers use to spy, steal data, download malware, mine cryptocurrency, and deploy ransomware. It infects computers through phishing emails, malicious attachments, and compromised websites. Once inside, LimeRAT creates a backdoor for hackers to control the system and execute remote commands.

LimeRAT, initially developed for educational purposes for .NET developers, has been repurposed for malicious use because of its robust features. It is known for its user-friendly interface that allows even beginner hackers to create and personalize payloads using checkboxes and text fields, customizing features, icons, command and control settings, and drop file locations.

LimeRAT is hard to detect because it is lightweight and can inject malicious code into legitimate processes. Its customizability makes it flexible for various malicious activities.

Possible symptoms

Trojans disguise themselves as legitimate programs, and that’s how users get tricked into installing them. If you notice any of the following symptoms, react immediately:

  • Unusual system slowdowns or high CPU usage.
  • Unexpected pop-up windows or error messages.
  • Encrypted or inaccessible files.
  • Random data transfers and unexpected network traffic.
  • Unfamiliar programs running in the background.
  • Unauthorized changes to system settings.

Sources of infection

LimeRAT usually lurks in malicious attachments or links in phishing emails. A user can also download this trojan with bundled software from untrusted sources and pirated software. Moreover, hackers can inject this trojan into a system through unpatched and vulnerable software.


Trojans like LimeRAT can cause significant system damage, financial loss, or even reputational damage to businesses. So it is crucial to be aware of how to protect your systems before this pesky trojan infects your device.

  • Update your software and operating system to protect your computer against known vulnerabilities.
  • Don’t download pirated software or programs from unrecognized sources.
  • Use Threat Protection Pro, an advanced NordVPN feature that scans files during download and alerts you about compromised websites.
  • Learn to recognize phishing attempts and never open unfamiliar email attachments or links.
  • Use cybersecurity tools like firewalls and intrusion detection systems.


Removing LimeRAT may be tricky. If you’re unsure whether you can remove it by yourself, turn to an IT professional. However, you can try removing it by using an antivirus program or anti-malware software. If you notice LimeRAT intrusion signs, disconnect your device from the internet immediately to prevent threat actors from causing even more damage. Then restart your computer in safe mode to stop malware from loading. Set up an antivirus scan and remove LimeRAT.

You can also try manual removal. First, terminate LimeRAT processes via Task Manager. Then delete malicious files related to LimeRAT and restore system settings.