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Making Sense of Operational Technology Attacks: The Past, Present, and Future

Making Sense of Operational Technology Attacks: The Past, Present, and Future

Mar 21, 2024 Operational Technology / SCADA Security
When you read reports about cyber-attacks affecting operational technology (OT), it's easy to get caught up in the hype and assume every single one is sophisticated. But are OT environments all over the world really besieged by a constant barrage of complex cyber-attacks? Answering that would require breaking down the different types of OT cyber-attacks and then looking back on all the historical attacks to see how those types compare.  The Types of OT Cyber-Attacks Over the past few decades, there has been a growing awareness of the need for improved cybersecurity practices in IT's lesser-known counterpart, OT. In fact, the lines of what constitutes a cyber-attack on OT have never been well defined, and if anything, they have further blurred over time. Therefore, we'd like to begin this post with a discussion around the ways in which cyber-attacks can either target or just simply impact OT, and why it might be important for us to make the distinction going forward. Figure 1 The Pu
Industrial Control Systems Vulnerabilities Soar: Over One-Third Unpatched in 2023

Industrial Control Systems Vulnerabilities Soar: Over One-Third Unpatched in 2023

Aug 02, 2023 ICS/SCADA Security
About 34% of security vulnerabilities impacting industrial control systems (ICSs) that were reported in the first half of 2023 have no patch or remediation, registering a significant increase from 13% the previous year. According to data compiled by SynSaber, a total of 670 ICS product flaws were reported via the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the first half of 2023, down from  681 reported  during the first half of 2022. Of the 670 CVEs, 88 are rated Critical, 349 are rated High, 215 are rated Medium, and 18 are rated Low in Severity. 227 of the flaws have no fixes in comparison to 88 in H1 2022. "Critical manufacturing (37.3% of total reported CVEs) and Energy (24.3% of the total reported) sectors are the most likely to be affected," the OT cybersecurity and asset monitoring company said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Other prominent industry verticals include water and wastewater systems, commercial facilities, communication
Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Apr 10, 2024Webinar / Identity Security
We all know passwords and firewalls are important, but what about the invisible threats lurking beneath the surface of your systems? Identity Threat Exposures (ITEs) are like secret tunnels for hackers – they make your security way more vulnerable than you think. Think of it like this: misconfigurations, forgotten accounts, and old settings are like cracks in your digital fortress walls. Hackers exploit these weaknesses to steal login information, gain sneaky access, and move around your systems unnoticed, whether they're in the cloud or on-site. This upcoming webinar,  " Today's Top 4 Identity Security Threat Exposures: Are You Vulnerable? "  isn't just for tech experts—it's about protecting your business.  We'll use real-world examples and insights from Silverfort's latest report to show you the hidden dangers of ITEs. You'll learn about: The Top 4 Identity Threats You Might Be Overlooking:  We'll name them and explain why they're
China's Stealthy Hackers Infiltrate U.S. and Guam Critical Infrastructure Undetected

China's Stealthy Hackers Infiltrate U.S. and Guam Critical Infrastructure Undetected

May 25, 2023 Cyber Threat / Espionage
A stealthy China-based group managed to establish a persistent foothold into critical infrastructure organizations in the U.S. and Guam without being detected,  Microsoft  and  the "Five Eyes" nations  said on Wednesday. The tech giant's threat intelligence team is tracking the activity, which includes post-compromise credential access and network system discovery, under the name  Volt Typhoon . The state-sponsored actor is  geared  towards espionage and information gathering, with the cluster active since June 2021 and obscuring its intrusion footprint by taking advantage of tools already installed or built into infected machines. Some of the prominent sectors targeted include communications, manufacturing, utility, transportation, construction, maritime, government, information technology, and education. The company further assessed with moderate confidence that the campaign is "pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications i
cyber security

UPCOMING WEBINAR: Implementing What's New in NIST CSF 2.0

websiteArmorPointCybersecurity / Webinar
Learn three practical steps to implement the latest version of the NIST CSF on 4/15 at 3pm ET. Register Today!
CISA Warns of Flaws in Siemens, GE Digital, and Contec Industrial Control Systems

CISA Warns of Flaws in Siemens, GE Digital, and Contec Industrial Control Systems

Jan 18, 2023 ICS/SCADA Security
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has  published  four Industrial Control Systems (ICS) advisories, calling out several security flaws affecting products from Siemens, GE Digital, and Contec. The most critical of the issues have been identified in Siemens SINEC INS that could lead to remote code execution via a path traversal flaw ( CVE-2022-45092 , CVSS score: 9.9) and command injection ( CVE-2022-2068 , CVSS score: 9.8). Also patched by Siemens is an authentication bypass vulnerability in llhttp parser ( CVE-2022-35256 , CVSS score: 9.8) as well as an out-of-bounds write bug in the OpenSSL library ( CVE-2022-2274 , CVSS score: 9.8) that could be exploited to trigger remote code execution. The German automation company, in December 2022,  released  Service Pack 2 Update 1 software to mitigate the flaws. Separately, a critical flaw has also been revealed in GE Digital's Proficy Historian solution that could result in code execution regardless of
Critical Remote Hack Flaws Found in Dataprobe's Power Distribution Units

Critical Remote Hack Flaws Found in Dataprobe's Power Distribution Units

Sep 21, 2022
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Tuesday released an industrial control systems (ICS) advisory warning of seven security flaws in Dataprobe's iBoot-PDU power distribution unit product, mostly used in industrial environments and data centers. "Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could lead to unauthenticated remote code execution on the Dataprobe iBoot-PDU device," the agency  said  in a notice. Credited with disclosing the flaws is industrial cybersecurity firm Claroty, which  said  the weaknesses could be remotely triggered "either through a direct web connection to the device or via the cloud." iBoot-PDU  is a power distribution unit (PDU) that provides users with real-time monitoring capabilities and sophisticated alerting mechanisms via a web interface so as to control the power supply to devices and other equipment in an OT environment. The vulnerabilities assume new significance when taking into consid
U.S. Warns of APT Hackers Targeting ICS/SCADA Systems with Specialized Malware

U.S. Warns of APT Hackers Targeting ICS/SCADA Systems with Specialized Malware

Apr 14, 2022
The U.S. government on Wednesday warned of nation-state actors deploying specialized malware to maintain access to industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices. "The APT actors have developed custom-made tools for targeting ICS/SCADA devices," multiple U.S. agencies  said  in an alert. "The tools enable them to scan for, compromise, and control affected devices once they have established initial access to the operational technology (OT) network." The joint federal advisory comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The custom-made tools are specifically designed to single out Schneider Electric programmable logic controllers (PLCs), OMRON Sysmac NEX PLCs, and Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) servers. On top of that, the unnamed actors
Flaws in Ovarro TBox RTUs Could Open Industrial Systems to Remote Attacks

Flaws in Ovarro TBox RTUs Could Open Industrial Systems to Remote Attacks

Mar 29, 2021
As many as five vulnerabilities have been uncovered in Ovarro's TBox remote terminal units (RTUs) that, if left unpatched, could open the door for escalating attacks against critical infrastructures, like remote code execution and denial-of-service. "Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in remote code execution, which may cause a denial-of-service condition," the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)  said  in an advisory published on March 23. TBox is an "all-in-one" solution for automation and control systems for supervisory control and data acquisition ( SCADA ) applications, with its telemetry software used for remote control and monitoring of assets in a number of critical infrastructure sectors, such as water, power, oil and gas, transportation, and process industries. TBox devices can be programmed using a software suite called TWinSoft, which allows for the creation of interactive web pages, where users
Poor Password Security Led to Recent Water Treatment Facility Hack

Poor Password Security Led to Recent Water Treatment Facility Hack

Feb 11, 2021
New details have emerged about the remote computer intrusion at a Florida water treatment facility last Friday, highlighting a lack of adequate security measures needed to bulletproof critical infrastructure environments. The breach involved an  unsuccessful attempt  on the part of an adversary to increase sodium hydroxide dosage in the water supply to dangerous levels by remotely accessing the SCADA system at the water treatment plant. The system's plant operator, who spotted the intrusion, quickly took steps to reverse the command, leading to minimal impact. Now, according to an  advisory  published on Wednesday by the state of Massachusetts, unidentified cyber actors accessed the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system via TeamViewer software installed on one of the plant's several computers that were connected to the control system. Not only were these computers running 32-bit versions of the Windows 7 operating system, but the machines also shared the
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