Orcus RAT and RevengeRAT are two of the most popular remote access trojans (RATs) in use across the threat landscape. Since its emergence in 2016, various adversaries used RevengeRAT to attack organizations and individuals around the world. The source code associated with RevengeRAT was previously released to the public, allowing attackers to leverage it for their own malicious purposes. There are typically numerous, unrelated attackers attempting to leverage this RAT to compromise corporate networks for the purposes of establishing an initial point of network access, the performance of lateral movement, as well as to exfiltrate sensitive information that can be monetized. Orcus RAT was in the news earlier this year due to Canadian law enforcement activity related to the individual believed to have authored the malware.

Cisco Talos recently discovered a threat actor that has been leveraging RevengeRAT and Orcus RAT in various malware distribution campaigns targeting organizations including government entities, financial services organizations, information technology service providers and consultancies. We discovered several unique tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) associated with these campaigns including the use of persistence techniques most commonly associated with “fileless” malware, obfuscation techniques designed to mask C2 infrastructure, as well as evasion designed to circumvent analysis by automated analysis platforms such as malware sandboxes.

The characteristics associated with these campaigns evolved over time, showing the attacker is constantly changing their tactics in an attempt to maximize their ability to infect corporate systems and work toward the achievement of their longer-term objectives.



Talos Group

Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group