Adversaries may destroy data and files on specific systems or in large numbers on a network to interrupt availability to systems, services, and network resources. Data destruction is likely to render stored data irrecoverable by forensic techniques through overwriting files or data on local and remote drives. Common operating system file deletion commands such as
rm often only remove pointers to files without wiping the contents of the files themselves, making the files recoverable by proper forensic methodology. This behavior is distinct from Disk Content Wipe and Disk Structure Wipe because individual files are destroyed rather than sections of a storage disk or the disk's logical structure.
Adversaries may attempt to overwrite files and directories with randomly generated data to make it irrecoverable. In some cases politically oriented image files have been used to overwrite data.
To maximize impact on the target organization in operations where network-wide availability interruption is the goal, malware designed for destroying data may have worm-like features to propagate across a network by leveraging additional techniques like Valid Accounts, Credential Dumping, and Windows Admin Shares.
Consider implementing IT disaster recovery plans that contain procedures for taking regular data backups that can be used to restore organizational data. Ensure backups are stored off system and is protected from common methods adversaries may use to gain access and destroy the backups to prevent recovery.
Use process monitoring to monitor the execution and command-line parameters of binaries that could be involved in data destruction activity, such as SDelete. Monitor for the creation of suspicious files as well as high unusual file modification activity. In particular, look for large quantities of file modifications in user directories and under
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