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
29 September, 2020
Also known as
Schnorchel
Global rank
25
Week rank
15
Month rank
15
IOCs
1122

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
3.13.191.225
37.46.150.253
199.19.224.65
20.185.43.125
209.120.202.134
84.211.44.213
68.50.4.35
93.41.148.239
3.134.196.116
194.87.18.212
194.87.18.137
85.74.139.100
172.245.157.103
35.241.200.200
62.85.57.124
84.211.45.112
194.87.18.22
3.8.93.207
92.222.72.160
Hashes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majul.com
elx01.knas.systems
coolthingy.duckdns.org
scca.duckdns.org
money1234.duckdns.org
takethei.duckdns.org
bnow.duckdns.org
e6916012.ngrok.io
52c5632c.ngrok.io
f2b700eb.ngrok.io
19ce033f.ngrok.io
aba23564.ngrok.io
7f2606e8.ngrok.io
4aa5c502.ngrok.io
195123a6.ngrok.io
mail-attachment.ngrok.io
d614c047.ngrok.io
jquerycdn.ngrok.io
b51f450d.ngrok.io
824fa560.ngrok.io

HAVE A LOOK AT

Adwind screenshot
Adwind
adwind trojan
Adwind RAT, sometimes also called Unrecom, Sockrat, Frutas, jRat and JSocket is a Malware As A Service Remote Access Trojan that attackers can use to collect information from infected machines. It was one of the most popular RATs in the market in 2015.
Read More
Agent Tesla screenshot
Agent Tesla
agenttesla trojan rat stealer
Agent Tesla is spyware that collects information about the actions of its victims by recording keystrokes and user interactions. It is falsely marketed as a legitimate software on the dedicated website where this malware is sold.
Read More
Ave Maria screenshot
Ave Maria
avemaria stealer trojan rat
Ave Maria malware is a Remote Access Trojan that is also called WARZONE RAT. Hackers use it to control PCs of their victims remotely and steal information from infected PCs. For example, they can remotely activate the camera to take pictures of a victim and send them to a control server
Read More
Azorult screenshot
Azorult
azorult trojan rat
AZORult can steal banking information including passwords and credit card details as well as cryptocurrency. This constantly updated information stealer malware should not be taken lightly, as it continues to be an active threat.
Read More
Crimson RAT screenshot
Crimson RAT
crimson rat trojan
Crimson is a Remote Access Trojan — a malware that is used to take remote control of infected systems and steal data. This particular RAT is known to be used by a Pakistani founded cybergang that targets Indian military objects to steal sensitive information.
Read More
Danabot screenshot
Danabot
danabot trojan stealer
Danabot is an advanced banking Trojan malware that was designed to steal financial information from victims. Out of the Trojans in the wild this is one of the most advanced thanks to the modular design and a complex delivery method.
Read More