In early 2022, tensions began building between Russia and Ukraine, which spawned a flurry of Russian-based hacks targeting all sectors of the Ukrainian economy. Now with Russia having declared all-out war, hackers have ramped up their operations, as new malware and ransomware attacks are targeting organizations in Ukraine and other NATO and EU countries.
According to a recent alert from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA:
• On January 15, 2022, the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) disclosed that malware, known as WhisperGate, was being used to target organizations in Ukraine. According to Microsoft, WhisperGate is intended to be destructive and is designed to render targeted devices inoperable.
• On February 23, 2022, several cybersecurity researchers disclosed that malware, known as HermeticWiper, was being used against organizations in Ukraine. According to SentinelLabs, the malware targets Windows devices, manipulating the master boot record, which results in subsequent boot failure.
Malware attacks are expected to also target the international community in response to the sanctions being set against Russia for their attacks against Ukraine. New attacks may also come from fellow cyber power China, which has recently struck a new alliance with Russia, and it also has territorial ambitions, as evidenced by the instances of Chinese intimidation against the sovereign nation of Taiwan.
In response to the heightened cyber activity against Ukraine, a group of volunteers known as the IT Army of Ukraine has been posting updates to their Telegram channel. They have been listing targets, including Russian banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, to strike in retaliation. Even the Security Service of Ukraine or SBU has started recruiting hackers with a message on its Telegram channel that reads: “CYBER FRONT IS NOW OPEN! Help Ukrainian cyber experts hack occupant’s platforms!”
The story is far from over with Russia going into a heightened nuclear alert in late February 2022.
How Do I Remove HermeticWiper and WhisperGate from My Computer?
You should scan for and remove HermeticWiper and WhisperGate from your computer with the help of a reputable malware remediation program.