SYMBOLCOMMON_NAMEaka. SYNONYMS
win.blackenergy (Back to overview)

BlackEnergy

Actor(s): Sandworm


BlackEnergy, its first version shortened as BE1, started as a crimeware being sold in the Russian cyber underground as early as 2007. Initially, it was designed as a toolkit for creating botnets for conducting DDoS attacks. It supported a variety of flooding commands including protocols like ICMP, TCP SYN, UDP, HTTP and DNS. Among the high profile targets of cyber attacks utilising BE1 were a Norwegian bank and government websites in Georgia three weeks before Russo-Georgian War.

Version 2 of BlackEnergy, BE2, came in 2008 with a complete code rewrite that introduced a protective layer, a kernel-mode rootkit and a modular architecture. Plugins included mostly DDoS attacks, a spam plugin and two banking authentication plugins to steal from Russian nad Ukrainian banks. The banking plugin was paired with a module designed to destroy the filesystem. Moreover, BE2 was able to
- download and execute a remote file;
- execute a local file on the infected computer;
- update the bot and its plugins;

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team issued an alert warning that BE2 was leveraging the human-machine interfaces of industrial control systems like GE CIMPLICITY, Advantech/Broadwin WebAccess, and Siemens WinCC to gain access to critical infrastructure networks.

In 2014, the BlackEnergy toolkit, BE3, switched to a lighter footprint with no kernel-mode driver component. Its plugins included:
- operations with victim's filesystem
- spreading with a parasitic infector
- spying features like keylogging, screenshoots or a robust password stealer
- Team viewer and a simple pseudo “remote desktop”
- listing Windows accounts and scanning network
- destroying the system

Typical for distribution of BE3 was heavy use of spear-phishing emails containing Microsoft Word or Excel documents with a malicious VBA macro, Rich Text Format (RTF) documents embedding exploits or a PowerPoint presentation with zero-day exploit CVE-2014-4114.

On 23 December 2015, attackers behind the BlackEnergy malware successfully caused power outages for several hours in different regions of Ukraine. This cyber sabotage against three energy companies has been confirmed by the Ukrainian government. The power grid compromise has become known as the first-of-its-kind cyber warfare attack affecting civilians.

References
2020-12-21IronNetAdam Hlavek, Kimberly Ortiz
@online{hlavek:20201221:russian:804662f, author = {Adam Hlavek and Kimberly Ortiz}, title = {{Russian cyber attack campaigns and actors}}, date = {2020-12-21}, organization = {IronNet}, url = {https://www.ironnet.com/blog/russian-cyber-attack-campaigns-and-actors}, language = {English}, urldate = {2021-01-05} } Russian cyber attack campaigns and actors
WellMail elf.wellmess Agent.BTZ BlackEnergy EternalPetya Havex RAT Industroyer Ryuk Triton WellMess
2020-10-19UK GovernmentForeignCommonwealth & Development Office, Dominic Raab
@online{office:20201019:uk:7ead390, author = {ForeignCommonwealth & Development Office and Dominic Raab}, title = {{UK exposes series of Russian cyber attacks against Olympic and Paralympic Games}}, date = {2020-10-19}, organization = {UK Government}, url = {https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-exposes-series-of-russian-cyber-attacks-against-olympic-and-paralympic-games}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-10-23} } UK exposes series of Russian cyber attacks against Olympic and Paralympic Games
elf.vpnfilter BlackEnergy EternalPetya Industroyer
2020-10-19Riskint BlogCurtis
@online{curtis:20201019:revisited:df05745, author = {Curtis}, title = {{Revisited: Fancy Bear's New Faces...and Sandworms' too}}, date = {2020-10-19}, organization = {Riskint Blog}, url = {https://www.riskint.blog/post/revisited-fancy-bear-s-new-faces-and-sandworms-too}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-10-23} } Revisited: Fancy Bear's New Faces...and Sandworms' too
BlackEnergy EternalPetya Industroyer Olympic Destroyer
2020-05-21PICUS SecuritySüleyman Özarslan
@online{zarslan:20200521:t1055:4400f98, author = {Süleyman Özarslan}, title = {{T1055 Process Injection}}, date = {2020-05-21}, organization = {PICUS Security}, url = {https://www.picussecurity.com/blog/picus-10-critical-mitre-attck-techniques-t1055-process-injection}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-06-03} } T1055 Process Injection
BlackEnergy Cardinal RAT Downdelph Emotet Kazuar RokRAT SOUNDBITE
2020SecureworksSecureWorks
@online{secureworks:2020:iron:3c939bc, author = {SecureWorks}, title = {{IRON VIKING}}, date = {2020}, organization = {Secureworks}, url = {https://www.secureworks.com/research/threat-profiles/iron-viking}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-05-23} } IRON VIKING
BlackEnergy EternalPetya GreyEnergy Industroyer KillDisk TeleBot TeleDoor
2019-05-08Verizon Communications Inc.Verizon Communications Inc.
@techreport{inc:20190508:2019:3c20a3b, author = {Verizon Communications Inc.}, title = {{2019 Data Breach Investigations Report}}, date = {2019-05-08}, institution = {Verizon Communications Inc.}, url = {https://enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/2019-data-breach-investigations-report.pdf}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-05-10} } 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report
BlackEnergy Cobalt Strike DanaBot Gandcrab GreyEnergy Mirai Olympic Destroyer SamSam
2019-01-18Mark Edmondson
@online{edmondson:20190118:black:e66dcec, author = {Mark Edmondson}, title = {{BLACK ENERGY – Analysis}}, date = {2019-01-18}, url = {https://marcusedmondson.com/2019/01/18/black-energy-analysis/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-01-08} } BLACK ENERGY – Analysis
BlackEnergy
2017-09-18ThreatConnectPaul Vann
@online{vann:20170918:casting:87b63a9, author = {Paul Vann}, title = {{Casting a Light on BlackEnergy}}, date = {2017-09-18}, organization = {ThreatConnect}, url = {https://threatconnect.com/blog/casting-a-light-on-blackenergy/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-01-13} } Casting a Light on BlackEnergy
BlackEnergy
2017-07-03ESET ResearchAnton Cherepanov, Robert Lipovsky
@techreport{cherepanov:20170703:blackenergy:2403feb, author = {Anton Cherepanov and Robert Lipovsky}, title = {{BlackEnergy – what we really know about the notorious cyber attacks}}, date = {2017-07-03}, institution = {ESET Research}, url = {https://www.virusbulletin.com/uploads/pdf/magazine/2016/VB2016-Cherepanov-Lipovsky.pdf}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-10-14} } BlackEnergy – what we really know about the notorious cyber attacks
BlackEnergy
2016-01-28Kaspersky LabsGReAT
@online{great:20160128:blackenergy:3c2a914, author = {GReAT}, title = {{BlackEnergy APT Attacks in Ukraine employ spearphishing with Word documents}}, date = {2016-01-28}, organization = {Kaspersky Labs}, url = {https://securelist.com/blackenergy-apt-attacks-in-ukraine-employ-spearphishing-with-word-documents/73440/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-12-20} } BlackEnergy APT Attacks in Ukraine employ spearphishing with Word documents
BlackEnergy
2015-02-17Kaspersky LabsKurt Baumgartner, Maria Garnaeva
@online{baumgartner:20150217:be2:f7ce288, author = {Kurt Baumgartner and Maria Garnaeva}, title = {{BE2 extraordinary plugins, Siemens targeting, dev fails}}, date = {2015-02-17}, organization = {Kaspersky Labs}, url = {https://securelist.com/be2-extraordinary-plugins-siemens-targeting-dev-fails/68838/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-12-20} } BE2 extraordinary plugins, Siemens targeting, dev fails
BlackEnergy
2014-11-03Kaspersky LabsKurt Baumgartner, Maria Garnaeva
@online{baumgartner:20141103:be2:ea8544a, author = {Kurt Baumgartner and Maria Garnaeva}, title = {{BE2 custom plugins, router abuse, and target profiles}}, date = {2014-11-03}, organization = {Kaspersky Labs}, url = {https://securelist.com/be2-custom-plugins-router-abuse-and-target-profiles/67353/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-12-20} } BE2 custom plugins, router abuse, and target profiles
BlackEnergy
2014-10-14ESET ResearchRobert Lipovsky
@online{lipovsky:20141014:cve20144114:49123f0, author = {Robert Lipovsky}, title = {{CVE‑2014‑4114: Details on August BlackEnergy PowerPoint Campaigns}}, date = {2014-10-14}, organization = {ESET Research}, url = {https://www.welivesecurity.com/2014/10/14/cve-2014-4114-details-august-blackenergy-powerpoint-campaigns/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-11-14} } CVE‑2014‑4114: Details on August BlackEnergy PowerPoint Campaigns
BlackEnergy
2010-07-15Kaspersky LabsDmitry Tarakanov
@online{tarakanov:20100715:black:e6d41f9, author = {Dmitry Tarakanov}, title = {{Black DDoS}}, date = {2010-07-15}, organization = {Kaspersky Labs}, url = {https://securelist.com/black-ddos/36309/}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-12-20} } Black DDoS
BlackEnergy
2010-03-03SecureworksJoe Stewart
@online{stewart:20100303:blackenergy:d3aa259, author = {Joe Stewart}, title = {{BlackEnergy Version 2 Threat Analysis}}, date = {2010-03-03}, organization = {Secureworks}, url = {https://www.secureworks.com/research/blackenergy2}, language = {English}, urldate = {2019-10-15} } BlackEnergy Version 2 Threat Analysis
BlackEnergy
2010-03-03FireEyeJulia Wolf
@online{wolf:20100303:black:6ee657a, author = {Julia Wolf}, title = {{Black Energy Crypto}}, date = {2010-03-03}, organization = {FireEye}, url = {https://web.archive.org/web/20140428201836/http://www.fireeye.com/blog/technical/malware-research/2010/03/black-energy-crypto.html}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-02-27} } Black Energy Crypto
BlackEnergy
2007-10Arbor NetworksJose Nazario
@techreport{nazario:200710:blackenergy:f414256, author = {Jose Nazario}, title = {{BlackEnergy DDoS Bot Analysis}}, date = {2007-10}, institution = {Arbor Networks}, url = {http://atlas-public.ec2.arbor.net/docs/BlackEnergy+DDoS+Bot+Analysis.pdf}, language = {English}, urldate = {2020-01-07} } BlackEnergy DDoS Bot Analysis
BlackEnergy
Yara Rules
[TLP:WHITE] win_blackenergy_auto (20201023 | autogenerated rule brought to you by yara-signator)
rule win_blackenergy_auto {

    meta:
        author = "Felix Bilstein - yara-signator at cocacoding dot com"
        date = "2020-12-22"
        version = "1"
        description = "autogenerated rule brought to you by yara-signator"
        tool = "yara-signator v0.6.0"
        signator_config = "callsandjumps;datarefs;binvalue"
        malpedia_reference = "https://malpedia.caad.fkie.fraunhofer.de/details/win.blackenergy"
        malpedia_rule_date = "20201222"
        malpedia_hash = "30354d830a29f0fbd3714d93d94dea941d77a130"
        malpedia_version = "20201023"
        malpedia_license = "CC BY-SA 4.0"
        malpedia_sharing = "TLP:WHITE"

    /* DISCLAIMER
     * The strings used in this rule have been automatically selected from the
     * disassembly of memory dumps and unpacked files, using YARA-Signator.
     * The code and documentation is published here:
     * https://github.com/fxb-cocacoding/yara-signator
     * As Malpedia is used as data source, please note that for a given
     * number of families, only single samples are documented.
     * This likely impacts the degree of generalization these rules will offer.
     * Take the described generation method also into consideration when you
     * apply the rules in your use cases and assign them confidence levels.
     */


    strings:
        $sequence_0 = { 8bc1 50 8d45f0 50 }
            // n = 4, score = 200
            //   8bc1                 | mov                 eax, ecx
            //   50                   | push                eax
            //   8d45f0               | lea                 eax, [ebp - 0x10]
            //   50                   | push                eax

        $sequence_1 = { c745e84e6f5265 c745ec6f70656e c745f04c617374 c745f453657373 }
            // n = 4, score = 200
            //   c745e84e6f5265       | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x18], 0x65526f4e
            //   c745ec6f70656e       | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x14], 0x6e65706f
            //   c745f04c617374       | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x10], 0x7473614c
            //   c745f453657373       | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0xc], 0x73736553

        $sequence_2 = { 8945e0 8bc1 8945d4 8b7df4 8b75d4 }
            // n = 5, score = 200
            //   8945e0               | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x20], eax
            //   8bc1                 | mov                 eax, ecx
            //   8945d4               | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x2c], eax
            //   8b7df4               | mov                 edi, dword ptr [ebp - 0xc]
            //   8b75d4               | mov                 esi, dword ptr [ebp - 0x2c]

        $sequence_3 = { 895df4 8bd1 85db 7459 8b4204 03f8 83c0f8 }
            // n = 7, score = 200
            //   895df4               | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0xc], ebx
            //   8bd1                 | mov                 edx, ecx
            //   85db                 | test                ebx, ebx
            //   7459                 | je                  0x5b
            //   8b4204               | mov                 eax, dword ptr [edx + 4]
            //   03f8                 | add                 edi, eax
            //   83c0f8               | add                 eax, -8

        $sequence_4 = { 85c0 7417 8bcf e8???????? 8945e8 }
            // n = 5, score = 200
            //   85c0                 | test                eax, eax
            //   7417                 | je                  0x19
            //   8bcf                 | mov                 ecx, edi
            //   e8????????           |                     
            //   8945e8               | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x18], eax

        $sequence_5 = { 8b4e14 3bd1 7602 8bca 394d08 7339 8b4d08 }
            // n = 7, score = 200
            //   8b4e14               | mov                 ecx, dword ptr [esi + 0x14]
            //   3bd1                 | cmp                 edx, ecx
            //   7602                 | jbe                 4
            //   8bca                 | mov                 ecx, edx
            //   394d08               | cmp                 dword ptr [ebp + 8], ecx
            //   7339                 | jae                 0x3b
            //   8b4d08               | mov                 ecx, dword ptr [ebp + 8]

        $sequence_6 = { 83ff05 7513 689704811d 53 e8???????? }
            // n = 5, score = 200
            //   83ff05               | cmp                 edi, 5
            //   7513                 | jne                 0x15
            //   689704811d           | push                0x1d810497
            //   53                   | push                ebx
            //   e8????????           |                     

        $sequence_7 = { 50 ff7618 e8???????? 894620 8b7628 3bf3 75e5 }
            // n = 7, score = 200
            //   50                   | push                eax
            //   ff7618               | push                dword ptr [esi + 0x18]
            //   e8????????           |                     
            //   894620               | mov                 dword ptr [esi + 0x20], eax
            //   8b7628               | mov                 esi, dword ptr [esi + 0x28]
            //   3bf3                 | cmp                 esi, ebx
            //   75e5                 | jne                 0xffffffe7

        $sequence_8 = { 85db 7505 33c0 40 eb5d 53 }
            // n = 6, score = 200
            //   85db                 | test                ebx, ebx
            //   7505                 | jne                 7
            //   33c0                 | xor                 eax, eax
            //   40                   | inc                 eax
            //   eb5d                 | jmp                 0x5f
            //   53                   | push                ebx

        $sequence_9 = { c745e464657865 66c745e86300 e8???????? 8bf0 85f6 7407 e8???????? }
            // n = 7, score = 200
            //   c745e464657865       | mov                 dword ptr [ebp - 0x1c], 0x65786564
            //   66c745e86300         | mov                 word ptr [ebp - 0x18], 0x63
            //   e8????????           |                     
            //   8bf0                 | mov                 esi, eax
            //   85f6                 | test                esi, esi
            //   7407                 | je                  9
            //   e8????????           |                     

    condition:
        7 of them and filesize < 98304
}
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