The BigBoss Rules: Something about one of the Uroburos’ RPC-based backdoors

BigBoss is one of the RPC-based backdoors used by Uroburos (aka Turla, Snake, Venomous Bear, Pacifier). It was first spotted out in 2018 and was observed to include new features in the last quarter of 2020. During operations usually it’s used in combination with R.A.T. (Remote Administration Tools) such as Kazuar and Carbon. Several months ago I had the opportunity to analyze some versions of these pieces of malware and have now decided to publish an excerpt based solely on some specific technical characteristics observed. The activity had as objective the production of detection and attribution rules one of which is shared in this post.


BigBoss implants exports basically (3) three functions. The Start() one is designed to retrieve basic information and to call sub_407E50 at 0040B0D3. First of all modulename kernel32.dll is dexored through the key 0x4d4e and an handle to kernel32.dll is obtained through GetModuleHandle. Malware writer chose to dynamically resolve certain API functions likely in order to hide information, from static analysis, about libraries and functions that are used by the implant and normally stored in IAT. In this case IsWow64Process is found through GetProcAddress to retrieve OS bitness.

Shortly after a call to sub_409C70 where the path of the .inf file is retrieved.

BigBoss writes a configuration file named backport.inf. The configuration file is written to %SystemRoot%\INF\backport.inf (as reported in screenshot above) and contains a [Version] section with various configuration entries. At this point instructions performed call the StartServiceCtrlDispatcher function in order to connect to the SCM (Service Control Manager) and start the control dispatcher thread. The dispatcher thread loops, waiting for incoming control requests for the services specified in the dispatch table.

Service name is SWCheckState. Further API functions is then dynamically resolved. One of them is CreateService retrieved even in this case through a GetProcAddress call after to have obtained an handle to advapi32.dll at sub_408790. After the service is created OpenService function is called in order to interact with the service just created and ChangeServiceConfig2W ChangeServiceConfigW are subsequently used to modified parameters of the same. Finally, StartService starts the service. In ServiceMain a RegisterServiceCtrlHandlerEx function is used to register a control handler with the control dispatcher. SetServiceStatus is called to set the status of the service and the CreateEvent function is then responsible to create the event object. 

SMB Server is then enabled by creating the RegKey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE “SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\lanmanserver\\parameters on sub_40AB90.  Named pipes are used for interprocess communication (IPC) both locally and remotely. Access to the remote named pipes is done via SMB. RegKey HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\LSA\Restrict Anonymous is then set to 0 in order to permit anonymous logon users can access all shared resources on a remote share

The RegKey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\LanmanServer\Parameters\NullSessionPipes is also written in order to add the following values







sub_40AAE0 is responsible for connections to remote devices via IPC$. via WNetAddConnection2

BigBoss supports connections through null sessions or via default credentials. A thread is then created having sub_408830 as StartAddress. This thread is mainly responsible to handle communications with CnC (Command and Control) server. CreateNamedPipeW and ConnectNamedPipe are used to test connection. If successfull it’s able to get additional payloads and write operation results into log files created and written under %temp% path.


BigBoss is an integral part of the Turla team’s attack and persistence suite. Its development and evolution have probably shared practices and logic with other implants linked to its main cluster such as the second stage backdoor called Carbon. For example, by analyzing both, it can be noted that it shares with it not only a partial overlap in some internal functions, as shown below

but in some cases whole code chunks having a full overlap

I based one of my hunting rules for this family on this piece of code. The rule is released in the “Detection” section




rule Turla_Code_00325_00291 {
author = “Emanuele De Lucia”
description = “Yara hunting rule for Turla shared code chunk”
hash1 = “3b8bd0a0c6069f2d27d759340721b78fd289f92e0a13965262fea4e8907af122”
hash2 = “a679dbde0f4411396af54ea6ac887bd0488b2339cd8a4b509a01ca5e906f70bd”
hash3 = “c819ec7743e2f5db13f277749961dffad08dba6dd21450eea33a27403386c959”
hash4 = “7bb65fe9421af04c5546b04a93aa0e517356c0a85856f1265587983ce2bf8aef”
hash5 = “94421ccb97b784c43d92c4b1438481eee9c907db6b13f6cfc4b86a6bb057ddcd”
$hex = { 8B (4C 24 ??|55 ??) (51|52) 8D (54 24 ??|45 ??) (52|50) 56 E8 ?? ?? ?? ?? 83 C4 ?? 8D (44 24 ??|4D ??) (50|51) 6A ?? 8D (4C 24 ??|55 ??) (51|52) 6A ?? 8D (54 24 ??|45 ??) (52|50) 8B (54 24 ??|45 ??) 6A ?? 8D (44 24 ?? | 4D ??) (50|51) 6A ?? 8D (4C 24 ??|55 ??) (51|52) 56 (52|50) FF 15 ?? ?? ?? ?? 85 C0 (0F 85 ?? ?? ?? ??|75 ??)}


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