Threat Signal Report

Azov "Ransomware" Wiper

description-logo Description

FortiGuard Labs is aware of a new ransomware variant called "Azov". Reason why this ransomware variant is in quotations is because although it has the hallmarks of ransomware, it is considered a data wiper. This is because there is no way to recover the encrypted data and/or get in touch with the threat actors.

After encryption, the note left behind to the victim, "RESTORE_FILES.txt," references well known OSINT researchers on Twitter. The note falsely reports that victims should get in touch with said researchers to request keys for decryption:


!Azov ransomware!

Hello, my name is hasherezade.

I am the polish security expert.

To recover your files contact us in twitter:







[Why did you do this to my files?]

I had to do this to bring your attention to the problem.

Do not be so ignorant as we were ignoring Crimea seizure for years.

The reason the west doesn't help enough Ukraine.

Their only help is weapons, but no movements towards the peace!

Stop the war, go to the streets!

Since when that Z-army will be near to my Polska country.

The only outcome is nuclear war.

Change the future now!

Help Ukraine, come to the streets!

We want our children to live in the peaceful world.


Biden doesn't want help Ukraine.

You people of United States, come to the streets, make revolution!

Keep America great!

Germany plays against their own people!

Du! Ein mann aus Deutschland, komm doch, komm raus!

Das ist aber eine Katastrophe, was Biden zu ihnen gemacht hat.

Wie war das schoen, wenn Merkel war da?




How is Azov Being Distributed?

Reports are that Azov is being dropped by SmokeLoader. Further reports as well reveal that Azov is being distributed on various pirated software, etc. sites as well.

So if Files are Encrypted, why is this Referred to as a Wiper?

This is because files are not recoverable and there are no instructions or contact information provided to the victim. Essentially files are rendered inoperable because there are no known decryption keys available.

Is Decryption Possible?

There are no known decryption keys or tools available at this time.

What is the Status of Coverage?

FortGuard Labs has AV coverage in place for Azov as:




Traffic Light Protocol

Color When Should it Be used? How may it be shared?


Not for disclosure, restricted to participants only.
Sources may use TLP:RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused. Recipients may not share TLP:RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it was originally disclosed. In the context of a meeting, for example, TLP:RED information is limited to those present at the meeting. In most circumstances, TLP:RED should be exchanged verbally or in person.


Limited disclosure, restricted to participants’ organizations.
Sources may use TLP:AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, yet carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organizations involved. Recipients may only share TLP:AMBER information with members of their own organization, and with clients or customers who need to know the information to protect themselves or prevent further harm. Sources are at liberty to specify additional intended limits of the sharing: these must be adhered to.


Limited disclosure, restricted to the community.
Sources may use TLP:GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organizations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector. Recipients may share TLP:GREEN information with peers and partner organizations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels. Information in this category can be circulated widely within a particular community. TLP:GREEN information may not be released outside of the community.


Disclosure is not limited.
Sources may use TLP:WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release. Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction.