Remote Access Tools (RATs) can be a helpful “back door” to our devices and other machines. Remote Access Tools have legitimate uses for remotely accessing services and our machines for administration, such as tech support.
However, RATs can also be used by attackers in the same way for malicious purposes. They allow the attackers to do and see exactly what we can do and see on our machine – right down to deleting all our data, turning our antivirus off and listening in on webcams and microphones. RATs can even send sms alerts letting the attacker know when a machine comes online. Once an insider, attackers can silently spread these helpful backdoors all over our network.
Adapt from Ernst (2013)