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The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) on Tuesday disclosed that it thwarted a cyberattack by Sandworm, a hacking group affiliated with Russia’s military intelligence, to sabotage the operations of an unnamed energy provider in the country.

“The attackers attempted to take down several infrastructure components of their target, namely: Electrical substations, Windows-operated computing systems, Linux-operated server equipment, [and] active network equipment,” the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) said in a statement.

Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET, which collaborated with CERT-UA to analyse the attack, said the attempted intrusion involved the use of ICS-capable malware and regular disk wipers, with the adversary unleashing an updated variant of the Industroyer malware, which was first deployed in a 2016 assault on Ukraine’s power grid.

“The Sandworm attackers made an attempt to deploy the Industroyer2 malware against high-voltage electrical substations in Ukraine,” ESET explained. “In addition to Industroyer2, Sandworm used several destructive malware families including CaddyWiper, OrcShred, SoloShred, and AwfulShred.”

The victim’s power grid network is believed to have penetrated in two waves, the initial compromise occurring no later than February 2022, coinciding with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and a follow-on infiltration in April that allowed the attackers to upload Industroyer2.

 

images from Hacker News