Researchers have discovered new capabilities in the BlackEnergy crimeware tool that significantly extend its reach. The ability to run on network devices, steal digital certificates, and render infected computers unbootable are just a few of new-found weapons in its arsenal.
BlackEnergy emerged as a tool for launching denial-of-service attacks. It later morphed into crimeware used to funnel banking credentials and most recently was observed as a refitted piece of software for espionage that targeted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Ukrainian and Polish government agencies, and a variety of sensitive European industries over the last year. In this last incarnation, BlackEnergy in some cases was installed by exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Windows systems.