Orcus RAT

Orcus is a modular Remote Access Trojan with some unusual functions. This RAT enables attackers to create plugins using a custom development library and offers very robust core featureset, that make it one of the most dangerous malicious programs in its class.

Type
RAT
Origin
Canada
First seen
1 April, 2016
Last seen
12 July, 2020
Also known as
Schnorchel
Global rank
25
Week rank
18
Month rank
17
IOCs
1030

What is Orcus RAT?

Orcus, previously known as Schnorchel, is a Remote Access Trojan — a malware that enables remote control of infected systems. Although Orcus RAT malware is mostly a typical member of the RAT family, it has some competitive advantages over similar malware and unique features.

In addition, Orcus RAT has a modular structure and it gives users the ability to create custom plugins for the malware. The modularity of this trojan gives it higher than standard scalability and management, allowing to tailor the malware to the needs of various campaigns.

The first time we heard about this malware was from a forum post by one of its authors. The post announced the development of a new RAT that was named Schnorchel at the time. Soon after the announcement, the malware became commercially available under the name “Orcus RAT” and was presented to the public as a legal software for remote administration, similar to Teamviewer. Interestingly, authors claimed that the abbreviation RAT stood for Remote Administration Tool and not Remote Access Trojan.

General description of Orcus RAT

Apart from a few exceptions, Orcus RAT malware has a relatively standard but robust feature set for a technologically advanced Remote Access Trojan. The malware can grab screenshots and record user input, activate the webcam, steal passwords, record audio and steal information. In addition, Orcus comes with the ability to detect if it’s being launched on a virtual machine to complicate the analysis by security researchers.

The functions described above already make this malware quite capable, however, it offers a few unusual functions that enhance its functionality. Namely, the RAT in question supports plugins and besides offering the ability to build them, it has a whole library of already created plugins that attackers can choose from. Orcus RAT plugins can be written in multiple languages, including C#, C++, and VB.Net.

To make the development of extensions more streamlined, malware creators rolled out a dedicated development environment. What’s more, those who lack the skills to build plugins from scratch on their own can follow detailed tutorials and benefit from well-maintained documentation libraries.

Additionally, Orcus had a Github page where authors have published samples of created plugins.

Another relatively unique feature that the malware authors packed into this virus is real-time scripting. Real-time scripting allows Orcus to write and run code on machines that it infected.

Speaking of Orcus RAT malware authors, we know that the virus was being developed by a 36-year-old John Revesz also known as “Armada" on the underground forums. In 2019, Canadian authorities accused Revesz of operating an international malware distribution scheme.

In his defense, Revesz claimed that the RAT is, in fact, a legitimate program for remote administration and his company “Orcus Technologies” is a legal business. However, an examination of the functionality clearly revealed that the software is intended for malicious use cases, which resulted in the arrest of Revesz.

It is believed that Revesz wasn’t working alone. A joint development effort theory makes sense, especially considering the technological complexity of certain aspects of this malware. For example, Orcus RAT consists of multiple components with the control panel being a separate component. The server that the malware establishes a connection with after infection does not hold an admin panel. This architecture provides several advantages to the attackers, for example, the ability to share access to infected PCs from the same server. Additionally, it allows for greater scalability or infected networks.

Orcus RAT malware analysis

A video recorded in the ANY.RUN interactive malware hunting service displays the execution process of Orcus RAT in real-time.

process_graph_of_orcus_rat_execution

Figure 1: Displays the execution process of the Orcus RAT. This visualization was generated by ANY.RUN.

text_report_of_orcus_rat_execution

Figure 2: Displays a text report generated by ANY.RUN. Text reports are useful for demonstration and can be customized by a user to show necessary data.

Orcus RAT execution process

The execution process of the Orcus RAT is simple and straightforward. This malware often disguises itself as some kind of cheat code or crack so it is mostly delivered to a system as an archive file with the compressed executable file inside. Since this trojan was written in C#, it often uses .NET infrastructure which is available in Windows. To compile the C# source code our sample started Visual C# compiler which, in turn, started the Resource File To COFF Object Conversion Utility. After it was compiled, the executable file began its execution and malicious activity. Note that Orcus remote access tool does not always make its way into an infected system as described above. In some cases, it comes as a precompiled executable file which only needs a user to double click on it to start the execution.

Orcus RAT malware distribution

Orcus RAT commonly makes its way into target machines as a downloadable attachment in malicious spam emails. Campaigns are often highly targeted and aim at organizations rather than at individuals.

Attackers use phishing and social engineering to trick victims into downloading an attachment or visiting a link that points to a server that holds the payload. In order to begin execution Orcus does require user input, in most cases it is unable to infect the system without user interaction.

How to detect Orcus RAT?

This malware creates files that allow analysts to detect it with a high degree of certainty. To identify the Orcus RAT, open the "Advanced details of process" by clicking on the "More info" button and switch events display to "Raw". This trojan often creates files with "Orcus" in the names, so all we need is to find such a file. To make it easier just type the word "Orcus" in the filename field. If such a file is found, you can be sure that Orcus RAT is in front of you.

files_created_by_orcus_rat

Figure 3: Files created by Orcus RAT

Conclusion

Orcus RAT malware is a sophisticated trojan that offers some unusual functions on top of solid basic info-stealing capabilities. Technical complexity was complemented by an affordable price of just 40 USD. Today, interested users can download a leaked version of Orcus for free. Unfortunately, this along with excellent support and documentation ensured the popularity of Orcus RAT.

Since its deployment in 2016, researchers have been observing Orcus RAT campaigns and the popularity of this malware is still on the rise. We can expect several new attacks utilizing malicious software in the future.

Researchers can analyze Orcus RAT using the ANY.RUN malware hunting service to study this malware. ANY.RUN is an interactive sandbox that allows researchers to stop and correct the simulation at any point which ensures pure research results. Useful information that can be obtained from the analysis can be added to our growing database of cyber threats to help combat internet crime all around the world.

IOCs

IP addresses
193.161.193.99
93.41.148.239
213.152.161.20
84.211.44.64
35.241.200.200
3.13.191.225
84.211.45.112
176.227.191.12
104.244.74.228
2.94.233.48
3.134.196.116
194.87.18.147
79.134.225.92
188.227.84.180
84.108.213.8
91.218.65.24
142.93.185.195
91.218.66.231
87.255.6.145
62.85.57.124
Hashes
6423967a40b8b2c6705477c5ce8f6b7cd73a54a21547fb95e964c1947deee43e
5be116b88b22a0c6f2120feeb98cacd816cc2268bae4cf025157cb7b924f7713
4784c334879c5cad128b026f667a4f31920a482abf4607ad61f49dd51e4425ca
74b546fd7152ff4276d31ce6ececc353552d51305b06e8322d199f37607b7718
7460ca84d05ee1e1a310379e7e69d5b21ec17a0137762cc131c2e63518ba8e98
f20a11b37761b6cd7201f2244ccc585b5c8057b00c4d970e1894fe535c49c071
c0e4c36128d5504cc6f7b57a96c665207206ca82189863c694491b62a5271b1d
770ca4c881ec39453c483ad4cf44f0a172d764e87043af5df96dd9f4f61ba9c9
4332e27922242e91e9fd25c091536e5a00abf20318cc54ddf5ac857787f554ec
b8a12284d7610bf032280823410256abb6f323868b07551ad3cf186ff284673a
5b2b5b609e58fd052873bf20c0edd47ab91a58d6487d6f72ddf198b80540e058
3b6158b0cfb202a6f2fe9ec0472d1fa9c0498b6791e1df2df5b35371000ee28c
c5034f39d53b40bdf7ff0a8948c9f7af22710f43e0c06252ca3be6e23dbe5381
16809aa2b20adceb3a60b9bd9564ea85c970753cb34bac51bb6dcc9241ce8035
25b3e1a006db0a872599a97f74ff2c88dcf1b0ad8e4645b2088020ef0b6f8586
dd50b1a9ed2b8d464717f8c8bc33936e1b6e9ca153c90d74d43c1349c593cf33
0fa4c392c3a3cda8d61b0de783dd57f20a51d8f2026af6d799dd277afdaaa690
8045915b21fb2901033ae3c04cd4b7d11c4da4cdcd31fda10dcfbfe1f941aa9c
cb56f8f33af700a4332e87a4c9e2d02e1c53f62dcce9dcb65cef380a511292a9
bec9fcb40479f433132f6b9069e1fc508fc3acaf7517cc35302192d99016abfa
Domains
lrsh16-31376.portmap.host
apidotmy-48754.portmap.host
pixelzkid-22749.portmap.host
startitit2-23969.portmap.host
zajeCas-21670.portmap.io
MrAnubis-30061.portmap.host
FluffTastic-47005.portmap.host
klyeguy-61442.portmap.host
vvtrix-64216.portmap.io
vvtrix-56112.portmap.io
vvtrix-37934.portmap.io
robyyx-40171.portmap.host
Isayar17-64288.portmap.host
GodPlzwork-49463.portmap.host
jxsh2wavy-54554.portmap.io
e0b47ae41e-29286.portmap.io
robyyxk-62001.portmap.host
xaz19og-42300.portmap.io
vladimir2020-45178.portmap.host
Crevlo-41557.portmap.host

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