Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown

Skip to main content



Also known as:

Category: Malware

Type: Trojan

Platforms affected: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android

Variants: There may be many different variants of Pupy, with updates or modifications made over time to evade detection or improve functionality. These can include customized payloads or modules tailored for specific attacks.

Damage potential: unauthorized remote control over the infected system, keystroke recording, stealing personal information, accessing webcam and microphone, managing files and processes on the device, downloading and executing other programs and malware.


Pupy is a versatile and powerful remote access trojan (RAT) that quickly caught the attention of cybersecurity professionals because of its easy adaptability — criminals can attack Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android devices using this malware. Pupy was designed primarily for cyber espionage, so it gives attackers full control over compromised systems and devices and moves laterally across networks.

Another concerning feature is Pupy’s modular architecture. It’s structured in a way that allows criminals to add, remove, or update separate modules without affecting the core functionality of the malware. This architecture makes Pupy highly adaptable and extendable, which allows attackers to easily tailor it to fit specific scenarios, devices, or targets.

Possible symptoms

Because Pupy is often used for surveillance, one of the main symptoms you may notice is unexpected behavior from your webcam or microphone. Other symptoms include:

  • Slow computer performance or unexplained crashes.

  • Your browser starts displaying pop-ups and redirecting you to random websites.

  • Unusual network activity.

  • Disabled or compromised security software.

  • Unrecognized processes in the Task Manager.

  • Unauthorized changes to your device’s settings or files as Pupy tries to root itself deeper into the system.

Sources of the infection

Pupy is indistinguishable from most other malware in the way it ends up on your device. Here are the most common ways your computer can get infected with it:

  • You fall for a phishing campaign and download and open a malicious email attachment.

  • You visit a malicious or compromised website, and Pupy installs itself through a drive-by download.

  • You download a software bundle and don’t check what’s in it before installing everything.

  • You install a fake software update by clicking on a flashy pop-up that warns you about the dangers of an outdated browser or antivirus.

  • You fall victim to a malvertising attack and are redirected to a dangerous website.

  • You skip important updates and do not patch up vulnerabilities in your software.


If you want to protect your devices from Pupy – or any malware for that matter – use common sense and always use caution when you’re online. You can use security software that will have your back and help you avoid malware in case you miss the warning signs. Try NordVPN’s Threat Protection — it will scan your downloading files and delete them if malware is found. To keep you even safer online, Threat Protection will also block your access to known malicious websites so you can turn back before it’s too late.

Here are some more things you can do to keep Pupy away:

  • Update all your software and the operating system as soon as updates are ready.

  • Download software and files only from official sources, like app stores and developers’ websites.

  • Be careful with emails from unknown senders, especially those with attachments.

  • Use a firewall to monitor inbound and outbound network traffic.

Pupy removal

While it’s safest to just perform a full system wipe to be sure, realistically, many users won’t be able to do that because they don’t have their files backed up. But don’t despair! Here are a few things you can do to get rid of Pupy:

  • Disconnect from the internet to stop the attacker’s access to your device.

  • Manually inspect running processes in the Task Manager on Windows or Activity Monitor on macOS, or use the command “ps aux” in the terminal on your Linux device. Check for unfamiliar or suspicious activity and end it.

  • Use a reliable and updated antivirus to scan and remove the threat. Some security software may have specialized tools for RAT removal.

  • After removal, it’s crucial to change all your passwords because they may have been compromised — use a password manager to make doing so easier and quicker.

  • Regularly monitor the system and network activity to ensure that Pupy has been entirely eradicated.

Ultimate digital security