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Network Threat Hunting: Russian Intelligence "Snake" Malware

Updated: Sep 27, 2023


"We consider Snake to be the most sophisticated cyber espionage tool in the FSB’s arsenal."

Authorities in the United States, Britain, and Canada have been discussing the potential threat that Russian-based Snake malware poses to global businesses. This malware, which has gone by various names including Snake, Uroburos, and Venomous Bear, has been in existence for the past decade and has been detected in cyber infrastructure in over 50 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Hyprfire's Network Detection and Response (NDR) clients have asked us an important question about the stealthy Russian cyber espionage malware known as Snake.

Can we see it on our networks? Read on to learn more or book a demo with us.


The Snake malware family is widely believed to be a sophisticated long-term espionage tool designed to collect sensitive intelligence and information from high-priority targets. These targets are said to include international government databases, restricted research facilities, well-known politicians and journalists, as well as enterprise organisations and critical infrastructure.

The goal of this Russian cyber espionage malware is long-term stealth, allowing it to collect data over several months or years to be sent back to Russian operatives. Its targets are carefully chosen to gain consistent access to sensitive data.

Why Snake is difficult to detect in your system:

1. Snake malware has a high stealth level within its host components and network communications, meaning if you're not carefully monitoring your networks, you could be at risk.

2. The technical architecture of Snake constantly evolves, with the malware family being easily deployed on various host operating systems, making it challenging for IT security to keep up with redeployed Snake attacks daily.

3. The Snake malware family is designed and implemented with meticulous attention to detail, resulting in remarkably few bugs despite its complexity. As a carefully engineered tool, if an infected network fails to act according to Snake malware communications, the malicious actor will re-infect it within a matter of days.

Due to this, it can be difficult for your IT security teams to actively hunt for Snake and keep it out of your systems once it has entered.


At Hyprfire, part of our sovereign Network Detection and Response (NDR) services includes our Firebug solution.

As part of Firebug's features, you receive a daily critical event report with IP coordinates to immediately act on suspicious activity and a weekly network summary report to fully understand what's on your network.

Our Hyprfire clients get that peace of mind, reduce noise alerts, and save time when it comes to searching for malicious activity like Snake malware.

How Hyprfire Protects You From Snake:

- Firebug continuously analyses network packets and traffic metadata between internal (east-west) and public networks (north-south), so we'll see when Snake communicates internally and externally.

- As Snake sends base32 encrypted data through DNS, Firebug would see this. Any unusual HTTP requests would be recorded, showcasing questionable trends within your networks and the potential threats they pose to your organisation.

- Despite changes to Snake's architecture, as it would be working within our client's infrastructure, we would be able to see large packet data transfers if it moves laterally to a new location internally, as well as the moment it is installed on your systems.


Australian businesses are being targeted daily with malicious attacks on their network systems. Endpoint and perimeter cyber tools aren't enough - without a Network Detection and Response solution, you're leaving your business open for attackers like the Optus or Latitude hack.

Get your critical network events, delivered to you by starting your free 30-day demo today.


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