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T1486 Data Encrypted for Impact

Adversaries may encrypt data on target systems or on large numbers of systems in a network to interrupt availability to system and network resources. They can attempt to render stored data inaccessible by encrypting files or data on local and remote drives and withholding access to a decryption key. This may be done in order to extract monetary compensation from a victim in exchange for decryption or a decryption key (ransomware) or to render data permanently inaccessible in cases where the key is not saved or transmitted.5267

In the case of ransomware, it is typical that common user files like Office documents, PDFs, images, videos, audio, text, and source code files will be encrypted (and often renamed and/or tagged with specific file markers). Adversaries may need to first employ other behaviors, such as File and Directory Permissions Modification or System Shutdown/Reboot, in order to unlock and/or gain access to manipulate these files.1 In some cases, adversaries may encrypt critical system files, disk partitions, and the MBR.6

To maximize impact on the target organization, malware designed for encrypting data may have worm-like features to propagate across a network by leveraging other attack techniques like Valid Accounts, OS Credential Dumping, and SMB/Windows Admin Shares.26 Encryption malware may also leverage Internal Defacement, such as changing victim wallpapers, or otherwise intimidate victims by sending ransom notes or other messages to connected printers (known as “print bombing”).4

In cloud environments, storage objects within compromised accounts may also be encrypted.3

Item Value
ID T1486
Tactics TA0040
Platforms IaaS, Linux, Windows, macOS
Version 1.4
Created 15 March 2019
Last Modified 16 June 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0082 APT38 APT38 has used Hermes ransomware to encrypt files with AES256.91
G0096 APT41 APT41 used a ransomware called Encryptor RaaS to encrypt files on the targeted systems and provide a ransom note to the user.96
S0640 Avaddon Avaddon encrypts the victim system using a combination of AES256 and RSA encryption schemes.38
S1053 AvosLocker AvosLocker has encrypted files and network resources using AES-256 and added an .avos, .avos2, or .AvosLinux extension to filenames.71727370
S0638 Babuk Babuk can use ChaCha8 and ECDH to encrypt data.46474837
S0606 Bad Rabbit Bad Rabbit has encrypted files and disks using AES-128-CBC and RSA-2048.88
S0570 BitPaymer BitPaymer can import a hard-coded RSA 1024-bit public key, generate a 128-bit RC4 key for each file, and encrypt the file in place, appending .locked to the filename.43
S1070 Black Basta Black Basta can encrypt files with the ChaCha20 cypher and using a multithreaded process to increase speed.675961636466626560
S1068 BlackCat BlackCat has the ability to encrypt Windows devices, Linux devices, and VMWare instances.52
C0015 C0015 During C0015, the threat actors used Conti ransomware to encrypt a compromised network.82
C0018 C0018 During C0018, the threat actors used AvosLocker ransomware to encrypt files on the compromised network.7397
S0611 Clop Clop can encrypt files using AES, RSA, and RC4 and will add the “.clop” extension to encrypted files.565758
S0575 Conti Conti can use CreateIoCompletionPort(), PostQueuedCompletionStatus(), and GetQueuedCompletionPort() to rapidly encrypt files, excluding those with the extensions of .exe, .dll, and .lnk. It has used a different AES-256 encryption key per file with a bundled RAS-4096 public encryption key that is unique for each victim. Conti can use “Windows Restart Manager” to ensure files are unlocked and open for encryption.831815182
S0625 Cuba Cuba has the ability to encrypt system data and add the “.cuba” extension to encrypted files.35
S1033 DCSrv DCSrv has encrypted drives using the core encryption mechanism from DiskCryptor.34
S0616 DEATHRANSOM DEATHRANSOM can use public and private key pair encryption to encrypt files for ransom payment.11
S0659 Diavol Diavol has encrypted files using an RSA key though the CryptEncrypt API and has appended filenames with “.lock64”. 49
S0554 Egregor Egregor can encrypt all non-system files using a hybrid AES-RSA algorithm prior to displaying a ransom note.433
S0605 EKANS EKANS uses standard encryption library functions to encrypt files.7778
G0046 FIN7 FIN7 has encrypted virtual disk volumes on ESXi servers using a version of Darkside ransomware.93
S0618 FIVEHANDS FIVEHANDS can use an embedded NTRU public key to encrypt data for ransom.111213
S0617 HELLOKITTY HELLOKITTY can use an embedded RSA-2048 public key to encrypt victim data for ransom.11
G0119 Indrik Spider Indrik Spider has encrypted domain-controlled systems using BitPaymer.43
S0389 JCry JCry has encrypted files and demanded Bitcoin to decrypt those files. 69
S0607 KillDisk KillDisk has a ransomware component that encrypts files with an AES key that is also RSA-1028 encrypted.15
S0372 LockerGoga LockerGoga has encrypted files, including core Windows OS files, using RSA-OAEP MGF1 and then demanded Bitcoin be paid for the decryption key.202122
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound has used BitLocker and DiskCryptor to encrypt targeted workstations. 9495
S0449 Maze Maze has disrupted systems by encrypting files on targeted machines, claiming to decrypt files if a ransom payment is made. Maze has used the ChaCha algorithm, based on Salsa20, and an RSA algorithm to encrypt files.80
S0576 MegaCortex MegaCortex has used the open-source library, Mbed Crypto, and generated AES keys to carry out the file encryption process.4445
S0457 Netwalker Netwalker can encrypt files on infected machines to extort victims.68
S0368 NotPetya NotPetya encrypts user files and disk structures like the MBR with 2048-bit RSA.18619
S0556 Pay2Key Pay2Key can encrypt data on victim’s machines using RSA and AES algorithms in order to extort a ransom payment for decryption.5354
S1058 Prestige Prestige has leveraged the CryptoPP C++ library to encrypt files on target systems using AES and appended filenames with .enc.55
S0654 ProLock ProLock can encrypt files on a compromised host with RC6, and encrypts the key with RSA-1024.36
S0583 Pysa Pysa has used RSA and AES-CBC encryption algorithm to encrypt a list of targeted file extensions.76
S0481 Ragnar Locker Ragnar Locker encrypts files on the local machine and mapped drives prior to displaying a note demanding a ransom.7475
S0496 REvil REvil can encrypt files on victim systems and demands a ransom to decrypt the files.2526272829303132
S0400 RobbinHood RobbinHood will search for an RSA encryption key and then perform its encryption process on the system files.16
S1073 Royal Royal uses a multi-threaded encryption process that can partially encrypt targeted files with the OpenSSL library and the AES256 algorithm.848586
S0446 Ryuk Ryuk has used a combination of symmetric (AES) and asymmetric (RSA) encryption to encrypt files. Files have been encrypted with their own AES key and given a file extension of .RYK. Encrypted directories have had a ransom note of RyukReadMe.txt written to the directory.5051
S0370 SamSam SamSam encrypts victim files using RSA-2048 encryption and demands a ransom be paid in Bitcoin to decrypt those files.17
G0034 Sandworm Team Sandworm Team has used Prestige ransomware to encrypt data at targeted organizations in transportation and related logistics industries in Ukraine and Poland.55
S0639 Seth-Locker Seth-Locker can encrypt files on a targeted system, appending them with the suffix .seth.37
S0140 Shamoon Shamoon has an operational mode for encrypting data instead of overwriting it.8990
S0242 SynAck SynAck encrypts the victims machine followed by asking the victim to pay a ransom. 42
G0092 TA505 TA505 has used a wide variety of ransomware, such as Clop, Locky, Jaff, Bart, Philadelphia, and GlobeImposter, to encrypt victim files and demand a ransom payment.92
S0595 ThiefQuest ThiefQuest encrypts a set of file extensions on a host, deletes the original files, and provides a ransom note with no contact information.14
S0366 WannaCry WannaCry encrypts user files and demands that a ransom be paid in Bitcoin to decrypt those files.23224
S0612 WastedLocker WastedLocker can encrypt data and leave a ransom note.394041
S0341 Xbash Xbash has maliciously encrypted victim’s database systems and demanded a cryptocurrency ransom be paid.87
S0658 XCSSET XCSSET performs AES-CBC encryption on files under ~/Documents, ~/Downloads, and
~/Desktop with a fixed key and renames files to give them a .enc extension. Only files with sizes
less than 500MB are encrypted.79


ID Mitigation Description
M1040 Behavior Prevention on Endpoint On Windows 10, enable cloud-delivered protection and Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) rules to block the execution of files that resemble ransomware. 8
M1053 Data Backup Consider implementing IT disaster recovery plans that contain procedures for regularly taking and testing data backups that can be used to restore organizational data.9 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. Consider enabling versioning in cloud environments to maintain backup copies of storage objects.10


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0010 Cloud Storage Cloud Storage Modification
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Creation
DS0033 Network Share Network Share Access
DS0009 Process Process Creation


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