Disk Wipe: Disk Content Wipe

ID Name
T1561.001 Disk Content Wipe
T1561.002 Disk Structure Wipe

Adversaries may erase the contents of storage devices on specific systems or in large numbers in a network to interrupt availability to system and network resources.

Adversaries may partially or completely overwrite the contents of a storage device rendering the data irrecoverable through the storage interface.[1][2][3] Instead of wiping specific disk structures or files, adversaries with destructive intent may wipe arbitrary portions of disk content. To wipe disk content, adversaries may acquire direct access to the hard drive in order to overwrite arbitrarily sized portions of disk with random data.[2] Adversaries have been observed leveraging third-party drivers like RawDisk to directly access disk content.[1][2] This behavior is distinct from Data Destruction because sections of the disk are erased instead of individual files.

To maximize impact on the target organization in operations where network-wide availability interruption is the goal, malware used for wiping disk content may have worm-like features to propagate across a network by leveraging additional techniques like Valid Accounts, OS Credential Dumping, and SMB/Windows Admin Shares.[2]

ID: T1561.001
Sub-technique of:  T1561
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User, root
Impact Type: Availability
Version: 1.0
Created: 20 February 2020
Last Modified: 28 March 2020
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has used malware like WhiskeyAlfa to overwrite the first 64MB of every drive with a mix of static and random buffers. A similar process is then used to wipe content in logical drives and, finally, attempt to wipe every byte of every sector on every drive. WhiskeyBravo can be used to overwrite the first 4.9MB of physical drives. WhiskeyDelta can overwrite the first 132MB or 1.5MB of each drive with random data from heap memory.[2]

S0576 MegaCortex

MegaCortex can wipe deleted data from all drives using cipher.exe.[4]

S0364 RawDisk

RawDisk has been used to directly access the hard disk to help overwrite arbitrarily sized portions of disk content.[2]

S0380 StoneDrill

StoneDrill can wipe the accessible physical or logical drives of the infected machine.[5]


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.[6] 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
Drive Modification
DS0027 Driver Driver Load
DS0009 Process Process Creation

Look for attempts to read/write to sensitive locations like the partition boot sector or BIOS parameter block/superblock. Monitor for direct access read/write attempts using the \\.\ notation.[7] Monitor for unusual kernel driver installation activity.