The Russia-linked hacking group Turla [4], also known as Pensive Ursa [1] [2] [3] or Uroburos, has recently released an upgraded variant of the Kazuar backdoor. This backdoor is specifically targeting the Ukrainian defense sector. Pensive Ursa, a Russian-based group associated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) [1], has been active since 2004 [1].


The upgraded version of Kazuar [2] [3] [4], discovered by security researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 [4], is designed to steal sensitive assets within the Ukrainian defense sector. These assets include Signal messages, source control [1] [2], and data from cloud platforms. It is worth noting that this backdoor has previously targeted European government and military organizations.

Kazuar is a stealthy NET backdoor that serves as a second stage payload for Pensive Ursa [3]. The latest version of Kazuar places a strong emphasis on its ability to operate covertly, evade detection [2] [4], and resist analysis [2]. This is achieved through the implementation of advanced anti-analysis techniques and encryption.


The release of this upgraded Kazuar backdoor by the Turla hacking group has significant implications for the Ukrainian defense sector. The theft of sensitive assets, such as Signal messages and source control [1] [2], can compromise the security and integrity of the sector. It is crucial for the Ukrainian defense sector to implement robust security measures and stay vigilant against such cyber threats.

Furthermore, the fact that Pensive Ursa has been active since 2004 and has previously targeted European government and military organizations highlights the need for increased international cooperation in combating cyber threats. Sharing intelligence and best practices can help mitigate the impact of such attacks and enhance overall cybersecurity.

In conclusion, the discovery of this upgraded Kazuar backdoor underscores the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats and the importance of continuous monitoring and adaptation of security measures. The Ukrainian defense sector [1] [2], as well as other potential targets, must remain proactive in their efforts to defend against sophisticated hacking groups like Turla.