Top 7 Maintained Open Source RAT Tools
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RAT or Remote Administration Tool is a piece of software that allows a user on one computer or smartphone to access another one and manage it remotely. Historically, RAT was also an acronym for “Remote Administration Trojan“, indicating that the controlling software on the host is minimal, hidden and sometimes used by hackers to control their victims.

RAT software are useful thanks to the minimum system resources they require and also due to their nature of possibly working on any data connection, app or platform to provide remote administration functions.

Difference Between RAT Software and Remote Desktop Software?

RAT software and remote desktop software are different things. The latter utilizes a protocol like RDP or VNC to provide a full screen sharing functionality to the remote user so that he/she can interact with it just as if it was a real system on their screen, while RAT software mainly rotate around providing the control functionality on one-by-one basis.

Some RAT software allow accessing the command line/shell on the remote host only, while others could provide access to clipboard, files and data, apps and other things.

Additionally, RAT software could utilize any platform to perform their tasks, including communication apps like Telegram as we will see later in this list, while remote desktop programs ship as standalone programs that communicate in a server-client architecture between two hosts.

Remote desktop tools would be good if you are looking for an easy solution to fully control and manage a desktop visually, or to provide assistance to other users in need of help. RAT software, on the other hand, are often used by software professionals to manage their own different machines, which are also often more than just one or two.

Top Open Source Remote Administration Tools (RAT)

The benefit of using open source RAT tools can be summarized in the following points:

  • Security and privacy: Since the source code is open, you can verify that there are no backdoors or hidden vulnerabilities in the software that you are going to use.
  • Customizability: You can take any RAT tool and modify it according to your own needs if it was open source. But if it was proprietary, then you wouldn’t be able to even touch it for that purpose.
  • Cost: While not necessarily the case, open source RAT tools are also free of charge most of the time.

In this article, we are going to see the top RAT tools and software that you can use to control a remote host. We are assuming, of course, that you are going to use this functionality for good or educational purposes and just want a ready software to use rather than developing your own.

1- CHAOS

open source rat tool 3

CHAOS is a free and open-source Remote Administration Tool (RAT) designed to generate binaries that enable the control of remote operating systems. Written in Go, CHAOS provides functionalities including reverse shell capabilities, file upload/download options, screenshot capture abilities, and comprehensive OS information retrieval. Additionally, it offers seamless integration with Heroku for rapid deployments.

The software has a web interface that allows the user to access the previously mentioned features. Once you connect your remote hosts to it, they will appear in this web interface and you will be able to control them.

Key features include advanced system controls like restart/shutdown commands along with user session management functions such as locking screens or signing out users remotely. The tool also provides database integration with SQLite and PostgreSQL configurations via environment variables setup during initialization processes.

  • Software license: MIT License
  • Programming language: Go

https://github.com/tiagorlampert/CHAOS

2- Tornado

open source rat tool 5

Tornado is an innovative software tool designed to facilitate anonymous reverse shell connections over the Tor network, leveraging hidden services without requiring port forwarding. Written in Python and built upon robust libraries such as Metasploit Framework and msfvenom module, Tornado enables users to create .onion domains for their local machines effortlessly. This allows secure remote administration by generating cross-platform payloads with fully undetectable shellcode execution, ensuring that the real location of a machine remains concealed.

A standout feature of Tornado is its ability to make these hidden services accessible outside the Tor network while maintaining anonymity through tools like Tor2Web. Users can achieve bulletproof privacy when accessing or offering services via this mechanism; however, caution must be exercised due to potential security risks inherent in using clearnet access points (Tor2Web).

  • Software license: GPL-3.0
  • Programming language: Python

https://github.com/samogod/tornado

3- TelegramRAT

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Remember that any communication platform with considerable API access to host machine can be used as a base for RAT, and this includes Telegram!

TelegramRAT is a cross-platform remote administration tool that leverages Telegram for communication, thereby evading network restrictions. This software is written in Python and utilizes the Telegram API to send commands and receive responses from infected machines via a bot interface. The primary function of this RAT includes executing shell commands directly through a bot, downloading files from clients, retrieving system information such as location data, capturing screenshots remotely, and more.

What sets TelegramRAT apart are its capabilities designed specifically to bypass traditional security measures by utilizing an encrypted messaging platform like Telegram. It allows users to create their own bots using BotFather on Telegram while obtaining necessary tokens for seamless operation within restricted networks or environments with stringent firewall rules.

  • Software license: Apache-2.0
  • Programming language: Python.

https://github.com/machine1337/TelegramRAT

4- Goasm-RAT

    Goasm-RAT is a remote administration tool designed for Windows, implemented in Go and Intel x86 Assembly. It lets you perform basic administrative tasks such as executing shell commands remotely and capturing screenshots from the client system. The software leverages MASM32 for assembly language support alongside Go’s capabilities to create an efficient console-based interface that allows users to interact with connected clients through specified TCP ports.

    The primary features of Goasm-RAT include its ability to switch control between multiple clients using simple command-line instructions, execute arbitrary shell commands on the client’s machine, and capture screen images which are saved locally as PNG files. This combination of functionalities makes it particularly useful for administrators needing lightweight yet powerful tools for managing systems remotely without requiring extensive graphical interfaces or heavy dependencies.

    • Software license: MIT License
    • Programming language: Primarily written in Go with significant portions in Assembly.

    https://github.com/Zhuagenborn/Goasm-RAT

    5- PhantomBlitz

    open source rat tool 9

    PhantomBlitz is a Python-based framework designed for reverse shell execution and payload generation. It allows users to create an executable file with various parameters, easing remote command executions through features such as Reverse TCP Connection, CLI commands execution, OS information collection, clipboard text management, screenshot capture, LAN traffic analysis and others. The software also includes functionalities like starting a file server or keylogging which can be particularly useful in debugging scenarios.

    The tool requires the same platform as the client and uses Python 3 along with specific libraries listed in its requirements.txt file. And while the tool is not popular by any means (only 1 star so far on GitHub 🙂 ), it remains functional and good to learn from.

    • Software license: GPL-3.0
    • Programming language: Python.

    https://github.com/Krimson-Squad/PhantomBlitz

    6- AndroRAT

    open source rat tool 11

    AndroRAT is a remote administration tool designed for Android devices, facilitating control and information retrieval from the target device. The software employs Java on the client side (an Android application) while utilizing Python for server-side operations. It allows seamless communication between a connected Android device and its controller via sockets.

    The primary features of AndroRAT include automatic startup upon booting up of the connected device, invisible installation icon rendering it stealthy in operation mode among others such as audio/video recording capabilities through both cameras; browsing call logs/SMS logs; retrieving location details along with SIM card specifics like IP address & MAC address etc., making it highly versatile yet lightweight running continuously in the background.

    https://github.com/karma9874/AndroRAT

    • Software license: MIT License
    • Programming language: Client in Java and server in Python.

    7- Ghost RAT

    Ghost Framework is another powerful Android exploitation tool that leverages the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to remotely access and control an Android device. Written entirely in Python, this framework allows users to execute various commands on a target device through ADB without requiring physical access or user interaction. The primary feature of Ghost Framework includes its ability to access connected devices by initiating remote shells, managing files, installing applications silently, capturing screenshots, and more.

    The platform’s key functionalities make it particularly useful for penetration testers and security researchers who need robust tools for assessing vulnerabilities within Android environments. Its ease of installation via pip3 ensures quick deployment across systems running Kali Linux or similar distributions. By automating many tasks typically performed manually during exploitation phases, Ghost Framework stands out as both efficient and effective in conducting comprehensive assessments with minimal effort.

    • Software license: MIT License
    • Programming language: Python

    https://github.com/EntySec/Ghost

    Conclusion

    So these were the top RAT tools so far that are still maintained and supported. Sadly, a lot of RAT tools become archived or unmatained after a period of time, and their developers just stop caring for them which renders them useless over time. We made sure that the ones we mentioned are at least updated in this year or the previous one.

    Remember that the primiarly use for these remote adminstration tools is for your own sake of controlling your machines or education purposes, and should not be used to harm others at any cost.

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