Monday, January 2, 2017

Netiquette IQ Blog Of 1/2/17 - New variant of KillDisk wiper threatens industrial control networks with ransomware


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December 29, 2016 www.scmagazine - Bradley Barth

New variant of KillDisk wiper threatens industrial control networks with ransomware

The TeleBots gang, which recently attacked Ukrainian banks with KillDisk malware that used Mr. Robot imagery (pictured), may now be targeting industrial control systems with a ransomware variant.
The KillDisk disk-wiper program that was used in conjunction with BlackEnergy malware to attack Ukrainian energy utilities has evolved into ransomware that may be targeting industrial-control networks. 

According to researchers at CyberX, the new variant was developed by the TeleBots cybergang, which recently emerged from the Sandworm threat group that is believed to have disrupted the Ukrainian power grid offline in December 2015 and January 2016, and allegedly compromised U.S. industrial-control systems and SCADA systems in 2014. Earlier this year, ESET researchers reported that TeleBots was a using different version of KillDisk to conduct cybersabotage attacks against the Ukrainian financial sector.
In a blog post on Tuesday, CyberX reported that the ransomware variant is distributed via malicious Office attachments and displays a pop-up message demanding 222 Bitcoins, which is currently the equivalent of approximately $206,000. The variant's exorbitant ransom and its link to Sandworm suggests that the group could be actively launching ransomware attacks against industrial-control networks.
KillDisk uses a mix of RSA 1028 public key and AES shared key algorithms to encrypt local hard-drives and network-mapped folders that are shared across organizations, CyberX further reported.

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In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

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In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.


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Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology marketplace.
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