Many bad actors that breach into your system will do so with the intent of stealing files, unleashing ransomware or compromising accounts. A dangerous, data-wiping malware made for destruction is now at the forefront of cybersecurity experts’ minds after some recent cybersecurity attacks affecting Ukraine.

The New Threat on the Rise

Troubles began at the end of last year, when the first signs of new threats popped up. Dubbed HermeticWiper, it initially sneaked into systems disguised as ransomware. Critical Ukrainian infrastructure was already overworked from a series of a distributed denial-of-service attacks. With important websites offline, attention was diverted to getting them back up and running. In the meantime, HermeticWiper was being unleashed.

It affects the disk drivers, corrupting them past the point of no return. Then it completely shuts down the computer by preventing it from rebooting, making it impossible to clean up the system. Hundreds of devices were impacted by the attack, demonstrating the power of this new data-wiper malware and thus the inherent danger too.

Then in January, WhisperGate happened.

More Malware to Watch Out For

Believed to be part of the current Russian-Ukranian conflict, WhisperGate is a ransomware unleashed, again, against critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Although it initially demands a ransom from the user in order to regain access to their corrupted hard drive, this is just another ploy. WhisperGate instead corrupted the hard drive beyond repair the same way that HermeticWiper did, leaving nothing left that’s usable.

We now know that WhisperGate never planned to give up the decryption key, but this is a good demonstration of why it’s always inadvisable to pay ransomware demands. You never know if they’ll really follow through once they have your money. Sometimes victims have to pay double fees to stop the thief from selling copies of what they found, too. All in all it’s best to go directly to your cybersecurity team if you ever notice ransomware on a machine.


Ransomware is already a paramount concern for many businesses, but the fallout could become even worse if data wiper malware, like the kind recently weaponized against Ukraine, becomes a more widespread phenomenon. Are you prepared to fight off this latest threat?

To better protect your business, take early precautionary measures that guarantee the safety of your most important assets. Risk and vulnerability assessments, as well as penetration testing, all identify your weak points as well as help you start a build a more secure security system. All of this will make it harder for cybercriminals to install ransomware and data wipers in the first place, and help the organization catch them faster when a breach does occur.

There’s no telling what cyber threats will crop up next, particularly since many security experts believe this is the beginning of more, fiercer waves of attacks. Preparing a solid offense is the best way to protect your business moving forward into an unknown, potentially game-changing future.