Modem-wiping malware was behind Viasat cyberattack

Satellite operator Viasat has confirmed that destructive malware was behind the problems with end-user modems in Ukraine and parts of Europe on the day Russia invaded Ukraine. 

SentinalLabs researchers Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade and Max van Amerongen have detailed their discovery of a new destructive malware variant they call “AcidRain” — a Linux file format (ELF) binary designed to wipe modems and routers — that they contend knocked out thousands of Vista’s KA-SAT routers on February 24.  

AcidRain is the latest destructive malware discovered since Russia’s invasion on February 24, including WhisperGate, HermeticWiper, CaddyWiper, IssacWiper, and DoubleZero

SentinalLabs says AcidRain shares some similarities with stage 3 component of VPNFilter — the malware that Ukraine blocked in 2018 fearing an attack on its critical infrastructure and which prompted the FBI that year to tell everyone to reboot their routers to remove the malware

The security company released its findings on AcidRain on the heels of Viasat’s March 30 account of the February outage, which preceded an outage of Germany energy firm Enercon’s remote communication system to 5,800 wind turbines.    

Viasat at the time confirmed the attack was not on the satellite network itself but was a denial of service attack from SurfBeam2 and SurfBeam2+ modems located

Read More: