ESET unmasks ‘GREYENERGY’
cyber-espionage group

Sophisticated threat actor, linked to previous ‘BlackEnergy’ cyberattacks, targets high-value organizations

GreyEnergy finally exposed

ESET researchers just unmasked the shadowy cyber-espionage group dubbed GreyEnergy. It’s the successor to the BlackEnergy APT group which went ‘underground‘ a few years ago after terrorizing Ukraine until 2015. It’s also closely related to TeleBots, responsible for NotPetya, perhaps the most damaging cyberattack experienced.

Our researchers have demonstrated beyond doubt that GreyEnergy’s malware toolkit both mirrors and improves on already-sophisticated techniques used in the devastating NotPetya attacks and Ukraine power grid outages.

ESET’s exposure of GreyEnergy is important for a successful defense against this particular threat actor as well as for better understanding the tactics, tools and procedures of the most advanced APT groups.

Anton Cherepanov, ESET Senior Malware Researcher

Links between BlackEnergy, Industroyer and GreyEnergy

Links between BlackEnergy, Industroyer and GreyEnergy

Organizations at risk

The consequences for organizations of all sizes can be devastating. Compared to BlackEnergy, GreyEnergy is a more modern toolkit with an even greater focus on stealth. ESET researchers have demonstrated that GreyEnergy has the capacity to take full control of entire company networks.

One basic stealth technique is to push only selected modules to selected targets, and only when needed. In addition, some GreyEnergy modules are partially encrypted and some remain fileless – running only in memory – with the intention of hindering analysis and detection.

To cover their tracks, typically, GreyEnergy’s operators securely wipe the malware components from the victims’ hard drives.

The modules described in ESET’s analysis were used for espionage and reconnaissance purposes and include: backdoor, file extraction, taking screenshots, keylogging, password and credential stealing.

How ESET protects you

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Stay safe with ESET

ESET fully protects your organization from GreyEnergy