Adversaries may shutdown/reboot systems to interrupt access to, or aid in the destruction of, those systems. Operating systems may contain commands to initiate a shutdown/reboot of a machine. In some cases, these commands may also be used to initiate a shutdown/reboot of a remote computer. Shutting down or rebooting systems may disrupt access to computer resources for legitimate users.
Adversaries may attempt to shutdown/reboot a system after impacting it in other ways, such as Disk Structure Wipe or Inhibit System Recovery, to hasten the intended effects on system availability.
APT37 has used malware that will issue the command
|APT38||APT38 has used a custom MBR wiper named BOOTWRECK, which will initiate a system reboot after wiping the victim's MBR. |
|Lazarus Group||Lazarus Group has rebooted systems after destroying files and wiping the MBR on infected systems. |
|LockerGoga||LockerGoga has been observed shutting down infected systems. |
|NotPetya||NotPetya will reboot the system one hour after infection. |
|Olympic Destroyer||Olympic Destroyer will shut down the compromised system after it is done modifying system configuration settings. |
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
Use process monitoring to monitor the execution and command line parameters of binaries involved in shutting down or rebooting systems. Windows event logs may also designate activity associated with a shutdown/reboot, ex. Event ID 1074 and 6006.
- Microsoft. (2017, October 15). Shutdown. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- Chiu, A. (2016, June 27). New Ransomware Variant "Nyetya" Compromises Systems Worldwide. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Mercer, W. and Rascagneres, P. (2018, February 12). Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim At Winter Olympics. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Greenberg, A. (2019, March 25). A Guide to LockerGoga, the Ransomware Crippling Industrial Firms. Retrieved July 17, 2019.