Pensive Ursa

Threat Actor Profile Updated 2 months ago
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Pensive Ursa, also known as Turla, Uroburos, Venomous Bear, and Waterbug, is a Russian-based advanced persistent threat (APT) group that has been operating since at least 2004. The group, linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), is renowned for its sophisticated cyber-espionage activities and intelligence-gathering operations. Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks, a leading cybersecurity firm, has been closely tracking the evolution and activities of this threat actor, providing valuable insights into their methods and targets. One of the key tools in Pensive Ursa's arsenal is an advanced .NET backdoor named Kazuar, which it typically uses as a second-stage payload. Kazuar, named after a large and dangerous bird, the cassowary, is known for its stealth and sophistication. Recently, Unit 42 researchers observed an upgraded variant of this backdoor being used by Pensive Ursa, indicating the group's ongoing efforts to enhance its capabilities and maintain its effectiveness against targeted systems. Most notably, the new version of Kazuar has been deployed against Ukraine's defense sector, demonstrating Pensive Ursa's continued focus on high-value targets. This discovery strengthens the attribution of Kazuar to Pensive Ursa, further highlighting the group's persistent threat. As such, organizations, especially those within the defense industry or geopolitical hotspots, should remain vigilant and proactive in their cybersecurity measures to mitigate the risks posed by threat actors like Pensive Ursa.
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Possible Aliases / Cluster overlaps
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IDVotesProfile Description
Turla, also known as Pensive Ursa, is a notable threat actor group linked to Russia. This sophisticated hacking team has been active for several years and is known for its advanced persistent threat (APT) activities. Turla's operations are characterized by the use of complex malware and backdoor exp
Uroburos, also known as Snake, Turla, Pensive Ursa, and Venomous Bear, is a sophisticated malware linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The development of this malicious software began in late 2003, with its operations traced back to at least 2004. Uroburos is part of a broader arsen
Snake, also known as EKANS, is a significant threat actor that has been active since at least 2004, with its activities potentially dating back to the late 1990s. This group, which may have ties to Iran, targets diplomatic and government organizations as well as private businesses across various reg
Venomous Bear
Venomous Bear, also known as Turla, Urobouros, Snake, and other names, is a threat actor group attributed to Center 16 of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation. The group has been active since at least 2004, targeting diplomatic and government organizations, as well as private
Turla Group
The Turla group, also known as Pensive Ursa, Krypton, Secret Blizzard, Venomous Bear, or Uroburos, is a notable threat actor that has been linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). With a history dating back to 2004, this group operates in painstaking stages, first conducting reconnaissa
Snake Malware
The infamous Snake malware, a complex and destructive tool utilized by Pensive Ursa, became the target of a significant cybersecurity operation in May 2023. Detailed in a CISA report, the Snake malware was known to infiltrate systems via suspicious downloads, emails, or websites, often unbeknownst t
Miscellaneous Associations
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Associated Malware
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IDTypeVotesProfile Description
Kazuar is a sophisticated multiplatform trojan horse malware, linked to the Russian-based threat group Turla (also known as Pensive Ursa, Uroburos, Snake), which has been operating since at least 2004. This group, believed to be connected to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), utilizes an ar
URSA is a harmful malware, typically delivered as an archive attachment to phishing emails. It operates as a backdoor into the infected system, enabling unauthorized access and exploitation. The malware has been particularly active in Latin America, where it's known as the Mispadu banking trojan. Si
ComRAT, also known as Agent.BTZ, is a potent malware that has evolved over the years to become a significant threat in the cybersecurity landscape. Developed using C++ and employing a virtual FAT16 file system, ComRAT is often used to exfiltrate sensitive documents. The malware is a remote access tr
TinyTurla is a new strain of malware linked to the Russia-sponsored threat actor, Turla APT (Advanced Persistent Threat). This group has been known for its long-running cyber espionage activities, typically targeting non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those supporting Ukraine. In this
Tomiris is a malicious software (malware) group that has been active since before 2019. Known for its use of the QUIETCANARY backdoor, Tomiris has expanded its capabilities and influence within the region, targeting government entities and other high-value targets. The group has shown a particular i
KopiLuwak is a JavaScript-based malware used for command and control (C2) communications and victim profiling. It was initially dropped by Pensive Ursa using an MSIL dropper in a G20-themed attack in 2017, and later as a self-extracting archive (SFX) executable in late 2022. Upon execution, the SFX
Agent.btz, also known as ComRAT v4, is a remote access trojan (RAT) developed using C++ and employing a virtual FAT16 file system. This malicious software was one of the earliest backdoors used by Pensive Ursa, a cyber-espionage group. Notably, the malware is frequently used to exfiltrate sensitive
Crutch is a sophisticated malware attributed to the Turla group, first discovered by ESET researchers in December 2020. It's considered a second-stage backdoor, achieving persistence through DLL hijacking. One notable feature of Crutch v4 is its ability to automatically upload files found on local a
UNC4210 is a malicious software (malware) discovered by Mandiant in September 2022, suspected to be an operation of the Turla Team. This malware was identified as it re-registered three expired ANDROMEDA command and control (C2) domains and began selectively deploying KOPILUWAK and QUIETCANARY to vi
Capibar, a new malware identified as part of the arsenal of the Russian-based threat group Turla (also known as Pensive Ursa, Uroburos, or Snake), has been used in recent cyberattacks. This group, linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and active since at least 2004, has deployed Capib
Quietcanary is a malicious software (malware) that has been exploited by threat groups such as Pensive Ursa and Tomiris. The malware, known for its backdoor capabilities, has been in use since at least 2019, with Pensive Ursa deploying it against targets in Ukraine in September 2022, often in conjun
Gazer is a second-stage backdoor malware written in C++ that was unveiled by Turla in August. It was discovered to have been deployed through watering-hole attacks and spear-phishing campaigns, enabling more precise targeting of victims. The malware is attributed to Pensive Ursa due to strong simila
Topinambour is a malicious software (malware) that has been linked to the hacking group Turla, as reported by Kaspersky and Securelist. This malware, identified by SHA-256 29314f3cd73b81eda7bd90c66f659235e6bb900e499c9cc7057d10a9083a0b94, is known for its ability to exploit and damage computers or de
HyperStack, also known as SilentMoo or BigBoss, is a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) backdoor malware that was first observed in 2018. It has been utilized in operations targeting European government entities and is linked to the Russian-based threat group Pensive Ursa, which has been operational since
Sunburst is a highly sophisticated malware that infiltrated the SolarWinds Orion platform, an event that came to light in late 2020. The malware was embedded into the system as early as January 2019, evading detection for almost two years. The campaign was attributed to Russia's Foreign Intelligence
Associated Threat Actors
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IDTypeVotesProfile Description
Pensive Ursa, also known as Turla or Uroburos, is a Russian-based threat group that has been active since at least 2004 and is linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The group employs advanced and stealthy tools like Kazuar, a .NET backdoor used as a second stage payload. In 2023, Pen
Associated Vulnerabilities
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Source Document References
Information about the Pensive Ursa Threat Actor was read from the documents corpus below. This display is limited to 20 results, create a free account to see more
8 months ago
6th November – Threat Intelligence Report - Check Point Research
8 months ago
Cyber Security Week In Review: November 3, 2023
8 months ago
Upgraded Kazuar Backdoor Offers Stealthy Power
8 months ago
Over the Kazuar’s nest: Cracking down on a freshly hatched backdoor used by Pensive Ursa - Cyber Security Review
8 months ago
Palo Alto Reveals New Features in Russian APT Turla's Kazuar Backdoor
8 months ago
Over the Kazuar’s Nest: Cracking Down on a Freshly Hatched Backdoor Used by Pensive Ursa (Aka Turla)
10 months ago
Threat Group Assessment: Turla (aka Pensive Ursa)