Skip to content

T1561.002 Disk Structure Wipe

Adversaries may corrupt or wipe the disk data structures on a hard drive necessary to boot a system; targeting specific critical systems or in large numbers in a network to interrupt availability to system and network resources.

Adversaries may attempt to render the system unable to boot by overwriting critical data located in structures such as the master boot record (MBR) or partition table.74352 The data contained in disk structures may include the initial executable code for loading an operating system or the location of the file system partitions on disk. If this information is not present, the computer will not be able to load an operating system during the boot process, leaving the computer unavailable. Disk Structure Wipe may be performed in isolation, or along with Disk Content Wipe if all sectors of a disk are wiped.

On a network devices, adversaries may reformat the file system using Network Device CLI commands such as format.1

To maximize impact on the target organization, malware designed for destroying disk structures may have worm-like features to propagate across a network by leveraging other techniques like Valid Accounts, OS Credential Dumping, and SMB/Windows Admin Shares.7435

Item Value
ID T1561.002
Sub-techniques T1561.001, T1561.002
Tactics TA0040
Platforms Linux, Network, Windows, macOS
Version 1.1
Created 20 February 2020
Last Modified 14 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0067 APT37 APT37 has access to destructive malware that is capable of overwriting a machine’s Master Boot Record (MBR).2829
G0082 APT38 APT38 has used a custom MBR wiper named BOOTWRECK to render systems inoperable.27
S0693 CaddyWiper CaddyWiper has the ability to destroy information about a physical drive’s partitions including the MBR, GPT, and partition entries.2122
S0697 HermeticWiper HermeticWiper has the ability to corrupt disk partitions, damage the Master Boot Record (MBR), and overwrite the Master File Table (MFT) of all available physical drives.10111213
S0607 KillDisk KillDisk overwrites the first sector of the Master Boot Record with “0x00”.14
G0032 Lazarus Group Lazarus Group malware SHARPKNOT overwrites and deletes the Master Boot Record (MBR) on the victim’s machine and has possessed MBR wiper malware since at least 2009.2423
S0364 RawDisk RawDisk was used in Shamoon to help overwrite components of disk structure like the MBR and disk partitions.32
G0034 Sandworm Team Sandworm Team has used the BlackEnergy KillDisk component to corrupt the infected system’s master boot record.2526
S0140 Shamoon Shamoon has been seen overwriting features of disk structure such as the MBR.7432
S0380 StoneDrill StoneDrill can wipe the master boot record of an infected computer.9
S0689 WhisperGate WhisperGate can overwrite the Master Book Record (MBR) on victim systems with a malicious 16-bit bootloader.191617181520


ID Mitigation Description
M1053 Data Backup Consider implementing IT disaster recovery plans that contain procedures for taking regular data backups that can be used to restore organizational data.8 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.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0016 Drive Drive Access
DS0027 Driver Driver Load
DS0009 Process Process Creation


  1. Cisco. (2022, August 16). format - Cisco IOS Configuration Fundamentals Command Reference. Retrieved July 13, 2022. 

  2. Falcone, R. (2018, December 13). Shamoon 3 Targets Oil and Gas Organization. Retrieved March 14, 2019. 

  3. Falcone, R.. (2016, November 30). Shamoon 2: Return of the Disttrack Wiper. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 

  4. FireEye. (2016, November 30). FireEye Responds to Wave of Destructive Cyber Attacks in Gulf Region. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 

  5. Kaspersky Lab. (2017, March 7). From Shamoon to StoneDrill: Wipers attacking Saudi organizations and beyond. Retrieved March 14, 2019. 

  6. Russinovich, M. & Garnier, T. (2017, May 22). Sysmon v6.20. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 

  7. Symantec. (2012, August 16). The Shamoon Attacks. Retrieved March 14, 2019. 

  8. (n.d.). IT Disaster Recovery Plan. Retrieved March 15, 2019. 

  9. Security Response attack Investigation Team. (2019, March 27). Elfin: Relentless Espionage Group Targets Multiple Organizations in Saudi Arabia and U.S.. Retrieved April 10, 2019. 

  10. Guerrero-Saade, J. (2022, February 23). HermeticWiper | New Destructive Malware Used In Cyber Attacks on Ukraine. Retrieved March 25, 2022. 

  11. Symantec Threat Hunter Team. (2022, February 24). Ukraine: Disk-wiping Attacks Precede Russian Invasion. Retrieved March 25, 2022. 

  12. Thomas, W. et al. (2022, February 25). CrowdStrike Falcon Protects from New Wiper Malware Used in Ukraine Cyberattacks. Retrieved March 25, 2022. 

  13. Dani, M. (2022, March 1). Ukrainian Targets Hit by HermeticWiper, New Datawiper Malware. Retrieved March 25, 2022. 

  14. Fernando Merces, Byron Gelera, Martin Co. (2018, June 7). KillDisk Variant Hits Latin American Finance Industry. Retrieved January 12, 2021. 

  15. Biasini, N. et al.. (2022, January 21). Ukraine Campaign Delivers Defacement and Wipers, in Continued Escalation. Retrieved March 14, 2022. 

  16. Crowdstrike. (2022, January 19). Technical Analysis of the WhisperGate Malicious Bootloader. Retrieved March 10, 2022. 

  17. Cybereason Nocturnus. (2022, February 15). Cybereason vs. WhisperGate and HermeticWiper. Retrieved March 10, 2022. 

  18. Falcone, R. et al.. (2022, January 20). Threat Brief: Ongoing Russia and Ukraine Cyber Conflict. Retrieved March 10, 2022. 

  19. MSTIC. (2022, January 15). Destructive malware targeting Ukrainian organizations. Retrieved March 10, 2022. 

  20. S2W. (2022, January 18). Analysis of Destructive Malware (WhisperGate) targeting Ukraine. Retrieved March 14, 2022. 

  21. ESET. (2022, March 15). CaddyWiper: New wiper malware discovered in Ukraine. Retrieved March 23, 2022. 

  22. Malhotra, A. (2022, March 15). Threat Advisory: CaddyWiper. Retrieved March 23, 2022. 

  23. Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Unraveling the Long Thread of the Sony Attack. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 

  24. US-CERT. (2018, March 09). Malware Analysis Report (MAR) - 10135536.11.WHITE. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 

  25. US-CERT. (2016, February 25). ICS Alert (IR-ALERT-H-16-056-01) Cyber-Attack Against Ukrainian Critical Infrastructure. Retrieved June 10, 2020. 

  26. Cherepanov, A.. (2017, June 30). TeleBots are back: Supply chain attacks against Ukraine. Retrieved June 11, 2020. 

  27. FireEye. (2018, October 03). APT38: Un-usual Suspects. Retrieved November 6, 2018. 

  28. FireEye. (2018, February 20). APT37 (Reaper): The Overlooked North Korean Actor. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 

  29. Mercer, W., Rascagneres, P. (2018, January 16). Korea In The Crosshairs. Retrieved May 21, 2018.