Accueil / IT Business / Communiqués / Une tentative d’attaque avec le logiciel malveillant Industroyer découverte en Ukraine

Une tentative d’attaque avec le logiciel malveillant Industroyer découverte en Ukraine

Ce logiciel malveillant qui parle le langage des ICS (équipements industriels) cible une société d’énergie ukrainienne.

Points clés de la nouvelle recherche ESET :

  • Les chercheurs d’ESET ont collaboré avec le CERT-UA pour analyser l’attaque contre la société d’énergie ukrainienne.
  • Les actions destructives étaient prévues pour le 8 avril 2022 mais les artefacts suggèrent que l’attaque était planifiée depuis au moins deux semaines
  • L’attaque a utilisé des logiciels malveillants utilisant le langage des ICS et des nettoyeurs de disque pour les systèmes d’exploitation Windows, Linux et Solaris.
  • ESET estime avec une confiance élevée que les attaquants ont utilisé une nouvelle version du logiciel malveillant Industroyer, qui a été utilisé en 2016 pour couper l’électricité en Ukraine.
  • Nous estimons avec une grande confiance que le groupe APT Sandworm est responsable de cette nouvelle attaque.

Industroyer2 : nouvelle attaque contre la production d’énergie

Les chercheurs d’ESET ont répondu à un cyber-incident affectant un fournisseur d’énergie en Ukraine. Les chercheurs ESET ont travaillé en étroite collaboration avec le CERT-UA afin de remédier et de protéger ce réseau d’infrastructure critique.

La collaboration a abouti à la découverte d’une nouvelle variante du malware Industroyer, qu’ils ont nommé Industroyer2 avec le CERT-UA. Industroyer est un malware tristement célèbre qui a été utilisé en 2016 par le groupe APT Sandworm pour couper le courant en Ukraine.

Ici, les attaquants du mode opératiore Sandworm ont fait une tentative de déploiement du malware Industroyer2 contre des sous-stations électriques à haute tension en Ukraine.

Outre Industroyer2, Sandworm a utilisé plusieurs familles de malwares destructeurs, dont CaddyWiper, ORCSHRED, SOLOSHRED et AWFULSHRED. ESET avait découvert CaddyWiper le 14 mars 2022 lorsqu’il a été utilisé contre une banque ukrainienne. Une variante de CaddyWiper a de nouveau été utilisée le 8 avril à 14:58 contre le fournisseur d’énergie ukrainien.

À ce stade, les chercheurs ne savent pas encore comment les attaquants ont compromis la victime initiale ni comment ils sont passés du réseau informatique au réseau de systèmes de contrôle industriel (ICS). Le schéma 1 présente une vue d’ensemble des différents logiciels malveillants utilisés dans cette attaque.

Découvrez la suite de cette recherche en anglais :


Figure 2 summarizes the chain of events.

  • 2022-02-24: Beginning of the current Russian invasion in Ukraine
  • 2022-03-14: Deployment of CaddyWiper against a Ukrainian bank
  • 2022-04-01: Deployment of CaddyWiper against a Ukrainian governmental entity
  • 2022-04-08 14:58 UTC: Deployment of CaddyWiper on some Windows machines and of Linux and Solaris destructive malware at the energy provider
  • 2022-04-08 15:02:22 UTC: Sandworm operator creates the scheduled task to launch Industroyer2
  • 2022-04-08 16:10 UTC: Scheduled execution of Industroyer2 to cut power in an Ukrainian region
  • 2022-04-08 16:20 UTC: Scheduled execution of CaddyWiper on the same machine to erase Industroyer2 traces

In 2017, ESET researchers revealed that a piece of malware that we named Industroyer was responsible for the power blackout that impacted Ukraine’s capital Kiev in December 2016.

As detailed in our white paper Win32/Industroyer: A new threat for industrial control systems, it is capable of interacting with industrial control systems typically found in electric power systems. This includes IEC-101, IEC-104, IEC 61850 and OPC DA devices.

At that time, we said that “it seems very unlikely anyone could write and test such malware without access to the specialized equipment used in the specific, targeted industrial environment”. This was confirmed in 2020 by the United States government when six officers of the Russian Military Unit 74455 of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), were indicted for their role in multiple cyberattacks including Industroyer and NotPetya – see the indictment on and our historical overview of Sandworm’s operations.

The recently discovered malware is a new variant of Industroyer, hence the name Industroyer2.


Industroyer2 was deployed as a single Windows executable named 108_100.exe and executed using a scheduled task on 2022-04-08 at 16:10:00 UTC. It was compiled on 2022-03-23, according to the PE timestamp, suggesting that attackers had planned their attack for more than two weeks.

Industroyer2 only implements the IEC-104 (aka IEC 60870-5-104) protocol to communicate with industrial equipment. This includes protection relays, used in electrical substations. This is a slight change from the 2016 Industroyer variant that is a fully-modular platform with payloads for multiple ICS protocols.

Industroyer2 shares number of code similarities with the payload 104.dll of Industroyer. We assess with high confidence that the new variant was built using the same source code.

Industroyer2 is highly configurable. It contains a detailed configuration hardcoded in its body, driving the malware actions. This is different from Industroyer, stores configuration in a separate .INI file. Thus, attackers need to recompile Industroyer2 for each new victim or environment. However, given that the Industroyer* malware family has only been deployed twice, with a five year gap between each version, this is probably not a limitation for Sandworm operators.

The new configuration format is stored as a string which is then supplied to the IEC-104 communication routine of the malware. Industroyer2 is able to communicate with multiple devices at once. Specifically, the analyzed sample contains eight different IP addresses of devices – see Figure 4.

The configuration contains values that are used during communication via IEC-104 protocol, such as ASDU (Application Service Data Unit) address, Information Object Addresses (IOA), timeouts, etc.

Before connecting to the targeted devices, the malware terminates a legitimate process that is used in standard daily operations. In addition to that, it renames this application by adding .MZ to the filename. It does so in order to prevent automatic re-start of this legitimate process.

The analysis is still ongoing in order to determine what are the exact actions taken for each device. We believe that this component is able to control specific ICS systems in order to cut power.

Industroyer2 can produce a log file or output its progress to the console window. However, instead of meaningful text messages as in the previous version, the malware writes various error codes – see Figure 5. We believe it is an obfuscation attempt by Sandworm developers to hamper analysis.


In coordination with the deployment of Industroyer2 in the ICS network, the attackers deployed a new version of the CaddyWiper destructive malware. We believe it was intended to slow down the recovery process and prevent operators of the energy company from regaining control of the ICS consoles. It was also deployed on the machine where Industroyer2 was executed, likely to cover their tracks.

The first version of CaddyWiper was discovered by ESET researchers in Ukraine on 2022-03-14 when it was deployed in the network of a bank. It was deployed via Group Policy Object (GPO), indicating the attackers had prior control of the target’s network beforehand. The wiper erases user data and partition information from attached drives, making the system inoperable and unrecoverable.

New CaddyWiper loading chain

In the network of the energy provider, attackers deployed a new version of CaddyWiper that uses a new loader, named ARGUEPATCH by CERT-UA. ARGUEPATCH is a patched version of a legitimate component of Hex-Rays IDA Pro software, specifically the remote IDA debugger server win32_remote.exe. IDA Pro is not intended to be used in an ICS environment, as its main purpose is for software reverse-engineering including malware analysis. We don’t know why attackers chose to trojanize this piece of software; it might be a troll towards defenders.

ARGUEPATCH was executed by a scheduled task that was intended to be launched once on 2022-04-08 14:58 UTC on one machine and at 16:20 UTC on the machine where Industroyer2 was deployed.

The patched binary loads encrypted shellcode from a file and decrypts it with a key, both are provided on command line. A single-byte XOR key is derived from the input key and used to decrypt the shellcode.

The decrypted shellcode is a slightly modified version of CaddyWiper. A comparison of their main routines is provided in Figure 6 and Figure 7. Note that they do not wipe the domain controller, and they wipe C:\Users\ and disks from D:\ to [:\. The wiping routine is also almost identical: it fills all files with 0.


Finally, CaddyWiper calls DeviceIoControl with IOCTL_DISK_SET_DRIVE_LAYOUT_EX and a zeroed InputBuffer for all disks from \\PHYSICALDRIVE9 to \\PHYSICALDRIVE0. This erases extended information of the drive’s partitions: the Master boot record (MBR) or the GUID Partition Table (GPT). This renders the machine unbootable.

Active Directory enumeration

Alongside CaddyWiper, a PowerShell script was found both in the energy provider network and in the bank that was compromised earlier.

This script enumerates Group Policies Objects (GPO) using the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI). The script, shown in Figure 8, is almost identical to a snippet provided in a Medium blogpost.

We believe that attackers deployed CaddyWiper via a GPO and used the script to check the existence of this GPO.



Linux and Solaris destructive malware (ORCSHRED, SOLOSHRED, AWFULSHRED)

Additional destructive malware for systems running Linux and Solaris was also found on the network of the targeted energy company. There are two main components to this attack: a worm and a wiper. The latter was found in two variants, one for each of the targeted operating system. All malware was implemented in Bash.

The worm

The first component launched by the attacker was a worm, having its file named This Bash script starts by adding a scheduled task (cron job) to launch the wiper component at 2:58pm UTC (assuming the system is in the local time zone, UTC+3), unless it was launched with the “owner” argument. This is likely a way to avoid the initial system used to launch the worm auto-destructing.

The script then iterates over the networks accessible by the system by looking at the result of ip route or ifconfig -a. It always assumes a class C network (/24) is reachable for each IP address it collects. It will try to connect to all hosts in those networks using SSH to TCP port 22, 2468, 24687 and 522. Once it finds a reachable SSH server, it tries credentials from a list provided with the malicious script. We believe the attacker had credentials prior to the attack to enable the spread of the wiper.

If the system is not already compromised, malware is copied to the new target, and the worm is launched. The worm is not launched with the owner argument, so the wiper is scheduled to launch at 2:58pm UTC and destroy all data. If those systems were set to the local time zone, the destruction must’ve started at the same time as the system compromised with CaddyWiper.

The Linux wiper

The Linux variant of the wiper is lightly obfuscated: variables and function names have been replaced with meaningless 8-letter words. Most literal values were also replaced with variables at the beginning of the file.



Ultimately, the Linux wiper destroys the whole content of the disks attached to the system by using shred if available or simply dd (with if=/dev/random) otherwise. If multiple disks are attached, data removal is done in parallel to speed up the process.

Depending on the size, it may take hours for the full disk to be completely erased. To render the system inoperable faster, it first tries to stop and disable HTTP and SSH services. Both services are disabled by using systemctl disable. To ensure service isn’t reenabled, the systemd unit file responsible for loading the service is deleted from the disk.

Files from /boot, /home and /var/log are also removed before destroying the full drives. This makes the system inoperable faster, deletes user data and perhaps removes incriminating logs.

The malicious script’s last action is to forcibly initiate a reboot using SysRq. Since all drives are filled with random, no operating system will boot.

The Solaris wiper

Unlike the Linux wiper, the Solaris variant is not obfuscated.

Like the Linux variant, the malicious script iterates over all services to stop and disable them if they contain the keyword ssh, http, apache and additionally ora_ or oracle. Those services are very likely used by applications used to control ICS systems. Wiping them would prevent the energy company’s operators from retaking control of the substations and roll back Industroyer2 actions.

It uses either systemctl or svcadm depending on what’s available. The latter is most likely since Solaris is not running systemd.

File destruction begins by deleting databases. It removes, using shred then rm, all files and directories contained in environment variables starting with ORA. Oracle Database uses the following variables to define location of database files and software: ORACLE_BASE, ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_PATH. Note that shred makes sure data recovery (without a backup) isn’t possible.

Like the Linux variant, files in /boot, /home and /var/log are deleted with priority.

Then the script iterates over disks connected to the system, found in /dev/dsk/. It ignores slices (partitions) and work only on full disks. For each of them, the malicious script overwrites the full content using shred. To minimize the time required to perform the wipe, all disks are erased in parallel.

Lastly, the script self-destructs.


Ukraine is once again at the center of cyberattacks targeting their critical infrastructure. This new Industroyer campaign follows multiple waves of wipers that have been targeting various sectors in Ukraine. ESET researchers will continue to monitor the threat landscape in order to better protect organizations from these types of destructive attacks.

And a big thanks to @_CERT_UA who worked with us on this case and provided samples. You can read their advisory on this campaign here.

For any inquiries about our research published on WeLiveSecurity, please contact us at

ESET Research now also offers private APT intelligence reports and data feeds. For any inquiries about this service, visit the ESET Threat Intelligence page.

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