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(also BlackEnergy malware, BlackEnergy trojan)

BlackEnergy definition

BlackEnergy is a complex malware strain initially designed to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults. Its capabilities expanded over time, enabling it to execute espionage activities, data demolition, and overall system breaches. This cyber menace frequently targets infrastructure industries, including power, water, transportation, and governmental bodies.

See also: botnet, brute-force attack, spear phishing

BlackEnergy examples

  • Cyber espionage: BlackEnergy has been used for cyber espionage, collecting sensitive information from infected systems.
  • Infrastructure disruption: Notable instances of BlackEnergy attacks include those on Ukrainian power facilities in 2015, resulting in significant power outages.

BlackEnergy compared to other malware

Unlike some forms of malware, BlackEnergy has a modular architecture, meaning it can be customized with different capabilities depending on the target and objectives of the attack. This makes it more adaptable and potent compared to many other malware families.

Advantages and disadvantages of BlackEnergy (as a tool for cybercriminals)


  • Adaptability: The modular nature of BlackEnergy allows for a high degree of customization, making it a flexible tool for various cyber operations.


  • Detectability: As its usage has become more widespread and well-known, cybersecurity professionals have developed robust methods of detecting and mitigating this threat.

Defending against BlackEnergy

  • Cyber hygiene: Regularly updating software and operating systems can prevent BlackEnergy from exploiting known vulnerabilities.
  • Security awareness: Being aware of phishing techniques can help prevent the initial compromise often used by BlackEnergy.