Revenge belongs to the class of Remote Access Trojans which means that it is usually used by the attackers to control infected PCs remotely or spy on the users by monitoring keystrokes and even computer surroundings through the remote webcam and microphone access.

  • Type
  • Origin
  • First seen
    1 January, 2016
  • Last seen
    17 November, 2019
Global rank
Week rank
Month rank

What is Revenge Malware?

Revenge belongs to the class of Remote Access Trojans which means that it is usually used by the attackers to control infected PCs remotely or spy on the users by monitoring keystrokes and even computer surroundings through the remote webcam and microphone access.

Discovered for the first time in 2016, Revenge continues to be a threat at the present day with a big spike in popularity monitored in 2019, when the malware was observed targeting corporations and government structures all around the world in a massive malicious campaign codenamed “Aggah”. Thanks to a large variety of distribution methods, robust core feature-set, and solid persistence mechanisms, Revenge has become a popular choice for cybercriminals. The popularity of this RAT was further aided by its open-source nature – anybody can freely download Revenge on underground hacking forums and employ it in their own campaigns.

General description of Revenge

The Revenge RAT was first observed in the wild in June 2016, when it was released by a user with a nick Napoleon – an Arabic speaking member of the underground hacking community.

The initial version of this malware was a simple malicious program that didn’t offer much, if any, code obfuscation and was mainly used by other Arabic speaking cybercriminals. Despite the simplicity of the malware, at the time, only one out of 54 of VirusTotal scanners could pick up the malicious nature of the Revenge code, which confused the researchers bearing in mind the lack of anti-analysis techniques.

The creator used Visual Basic to develop this RAT and personally admitted that the malware was very bare-bones at the time of its initial release– providing only the most basic functions and definitely losing to competitors in terms of core feature-set. According to Napoleon, this explained why Revenge was available free of charge.

After two months since the initial release, a new version v0.2 was issued by the author, on a more popular hacking forum, this time with more features, but still offered completely free of charge. Since then Revenge has evolved even further and today, it offers cybercriminals a wide range of capabilities including remote files and registry alterations on an infected machine, access to memory, processes and services as well as access to connected devices such as keyboards, webcams and mice, allowing this malware to record the actions of its victims and collect information like banking credentials and social account data.

Core malicious feature-set was not the only thing that evolved over the course of the Revenge lifetime. Improvements in distribution and persistence made this threat truly a force to be reckoned with. In some campaigns, scripts were executed in the HTML of a custom blogspot [com] page.

Revenge malware analysis

A video recorded in the ANY.RUN malware hunting service allows us to take a look at the execution of this malware as it unfolds.

process graph of the revenge trojan execution Figure 1: Displays the lifecycle of Revenge in a visual form. A graph generated by ANY.RUN

text report of the revenge analysis Figure 2: Shows a customizable text report generated by the ANY.RUN malware analysis service which allows diving deeper into the details of the Revenge execution process.

Revenge execution process

Sometimes the first steps of Revenge execution may vary depending on how it made its way into a victim's computer. The most common form of initial infiltration vector is by the use of Mshta.exe for downloading the payload or for direct execution from a URL. After the payload is delivered to the infected machine, Mshta.exe changes the autorun value in the registry and starts three processes - cmd.exe, powershell.exe and schtasks.exe. It starts cmd.exe to kill processes from a list, in the given example processes from Microsoft Office packet were targeted. Powershell.exe is being launched to download the main payload. In turn, schtasks.exe is launched in a way to generate a scheduled task which provides Revenge persistence in the infected system. After all these steps, the malware is ready to complete commands from C2 servers.

How to avoid infection by Revenge?

The best line of defense against threats like Revenge is to keep a security product installed and updated with the latest firmware. One should not disable native Windows security features, regularly update the OS and adhere to the best security practices of staying safe online.

As such, it is advised to stay clear of downloading email attachments from unknown senders and never enabling macros in Microsoft Office if prompted to do so by a file downloaded from a suspicious email.

Distribution of Revenge

Revenge has been seen being distributed in a variety of ways, some of which are potentially more effective than others. For example, Revenge is known to infect PCs from malicious email attachments and corrupted ads on compromised websites.

Most commonly, once delivered in the Microsoft Office file that was downloaded and launched by the potential victim, Revenge will use macros to connect to an outside domain, sometimes hidden on a web page, from which additional scripts and content are downloaded until the actual malware is installed on the PC.

How to more info from the analysis of Revenge malware using ANY.RUN?

Analysts can get information about which MITRE ATT&CK™ MATRIX techniques were applied by malware. Just click on the "ATT&CK™ MATRIX " button.

Revenge MITRE ATT&CK MATRIX techniques Figure 3: Revenge MITRE ATT&CK MATRIX techniques


Revenge is no slouch when it comes to Remote Banking Trojans. It has begun it’s lifespan as a simplistic malware with functionality and without anti-analysis features but has evolved to become a capable and persistent trojan used in massive attacks in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

The popularity of this malware is not only due to its robust feature-set, but also ready availability since Revenge can be downloaded for free from a number of underground communities.

Professionals can establish a secure cyber defense against Revenge and similar RATs and secure their corporate or government networks by reverse engineering and studying a threat using malware hunting services like to ANY.RUN.


IP addresses


Adwind screenshot
adwind trojan
Adwind RAT, sometimes also called Unrecom, Sockrat, Frutas, jRat and JSocket is a remote access trojan available as MaaS ( Malware-As-A-Service ). Adwind can collect user and system data, control the webcam of the infected machine, capture screenshots, install and run other malicious programs, log keystrokes, steal web browser passwords and more.
Read More
AgentTesla screenshot
agenttesla trojan rat stealer
Agent Tesla is a password stealer spyware that has been around since 2014. The malware can be used by attackers to spy on victims, allowing them to see everything that has been typed in supported programs and web-browsers.
Read More
Azorult screenshot
azorult trojan rat
AZORult is an information stealer malware that is targeted at stealing credentials and accounts. Updated multiple times over the years, AZORult continues to be an active concern for the users, stealing information such as banking passwords, credit card details, browser histories, and even cryptocurrency.
Read More
Danabot screenshot
danabot trojan stealer
Danabot is a banking trojan that was spotted in the wild in 2018. Danabot differs from competing Trojans thanks to its robust delivery system and modular design. Since its first appearance, Danabot has obtained high popularity among cybercriminals and became an active threat in multiple regions of the world.
Read More
Dridex screenshot
dridex trojan banker
Dridex is one of the most technologically advanced banking trojans currently active. The primary target of this malware is stealing banking credentials from its victims. Dridex has been around since 2014 and has benefited from very consistent updates that helped the malware evolve and become more and more capable.
Read More
Emotet screenshot
emotet trojan loader banker
Emotet is an extremely sophisticated and destructive banking Trojan used to download and install other malware. First recorded in 2014, Emotet has gained advanced capabilities over the course of its lifetime. Today Emotet is targeting governments, corporations, small businesses and individuals, focusing on Europe, America, and Canada.
Read More