Sandstorm Blocked From Taking Down Ukrainian Energy Provider

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The state-sponsored Russian hacking group, Sandstorm has tried unsuccessfully to take down a major Ukrainian energy supplier.

The attack was discovered by researchers from cybersecurity firm ESET in partnership with Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) before the hackers were able to complete the final phase of the attack on Friday, April 18.

CERT-UA says that “the implementation of [Sandstorm’s] malicious plan has so far been prevented”

According to the researchers, the attackers used a new variant of Industroyer malware for industrial control systems (ICS) and a new version of the CaddyWiper data destruction malware.

The ICS malware used in the attack is being tracked as Industroyer2, and researchers claimed that it was built with the source code of Industroyer, which was used in 2016 to disrupt electricity in Ukraine.

Other tools used in the attack include the PowerGap PowerShell script, which is used to add a Group Policy that downloads payload data and creates scheduled tasks, and Impacket, a tool used to remotely execute commands.

The researchers noted that it remains unknown how the attacker was able to compromise the environment and how they were able to move from the IT network into the ICS environment.

The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.

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