Sandworm targets Ukrainian power grid. CISA warns of ICS malware. Updates on Hafnium activity.

Sandworm targets Ukrainian power grid.

Sandworm, also known as Voodoo Bear, and in the org charts Unit 74455 of Russia’s GRU, has deployed CaddyWiper destructive malware and an Industroyer variant being called, simply, “Industroyer2.” ESET tweeted the results of its findings early Tuesday morning, and provided additional details in a report also published Tuesday. “ESET researchers collaborated with CERT-UA to analyze the attack against the Ukrainian energy company. The destructive actions were scheduled for 2022-04-08 but artifacts suggest that the attack had been planned for at least two weeks. The attack used ICS-capable malware and regular disk wipers for Windows, Linux and Solaris operating systems. We assess with high confidence that the attackers used a new version of the Industroyer malware, which was used in 2016 to cut power in Ukraine. We assess with high confidence that the APT group Sandworm is responsible for this new attack.”

The incident seems, at first look, an attempted repetition of the 2016 Russian cyberattacks against the Ukrainian grid that ESET mentioned in its report. CERT-UA offered a further description of the attack. It intended to use Industroyer2 against “high-voltage electrical substations” in a fashion tailored to the individual substations. CaddyWiper was used against Windows systems (including automated workstations), and other “destructive scripts” (OrcShred, SoloShred, and AwfulShred) were deployed against Linux systems.

The GRU’s attempt against the Ukrainian power grid appears to be the cyberattack most people were expecting back in February, especially because of the way it tracked earlier GRU takedowns of sections of Ukraine’s power grid. It also appears to have failed, and that failure may be attributed in part to successful Ukrainian defenses as well as to the methods Russia chose to use. In cyberspace as well as on the ground, Ukraine appears to have proved a tougher opponent than Russia expected.

CISA warns of ICS malware.

Late Wednesday the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that, with its partners in “the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of…