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Last week my group of friends and I were discussing about RAT and my friend told me that RAT can be removed by reinstalling your OS, and factory reset doesn't solve the problem. So I googled around but didn't get a clear and direct answer.

So my question: Does factory reset remove RATs completely or is it less effective than OS reinstallation?? If not, why?

  • Your friend is correct. A reset is insufficient. I've linked to a very similar question. – John Deters Feb 1 '17 at 4:17
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"RATs" or Remote Access Tools are pieces of software.

The issue is when you discuss things, everyone makes certain assumptions. For instance, I'm assuming you are talking about remote access by software.

Intel has a remote access "tool" via it's VPro platform, which isn't software. It's built into the processor/chipset. An OS reinstall would not remove it, and with VPro an administrator can even access the BIOS remotely.

If you want to make another assumption that the tool has a rootkit, and has even place itself into the boot sector, a reformat and reinstall would still remove it. A simple reinstall might not, as the Windows installer might not clear the boot sector.

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