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Five Eyes Nations Warn of Russian Cyber Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure

Five Eyes Nations Warn of Russian Cyber Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure

Apr 21, 2022
The Five Eyes nations have released a  joint cybersecurity advisory  warning of increased  malicious attacks  from Russian state-sponsored actors and criminal groups targeting critical infrastructure organizations amidst the ongoing military siege on Ukraine. "Evolving intelligence indicates that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks," authorities from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.  said . "Russia's invasion of Ukraine could expose organizations both within and beyond the region to increased malicious cyber activity. This activity may occur as a response to the unprecedented economic costs imposed on Russia as well as material support provided by the United States and U.S. allies and partners." The  advisory  follows  another alert  from the U.S. government cautioning of nation-state actors deploying specialized malware to maintain access to industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control an
CISA Warns of High-Severity Flaws in Schneider and GE Digital's SCADA Software

CISA Warns of High-Severity Flaws in Schneider and GE Digital's SCADA Software

Feb 28, 2022
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) last week published an industrial control system ( ICS ) advisory related to multiple vulnerabilities impacting Schneider Electric's  Easergy  medium voltage protection relays. "Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities may disclose device credentials, cause a denial-of-service condition, device reboot, or allow an attacker to gain full control of the relay," the agency  said  in a bulletin on February 24, 2022. "This could result in loss of protection to your electrical network." The two high-severity weaknesses impact Easergy P3 versions prior to v30.205 and Easergy P5 versions before v01.401.101. Details of the flaws are as follows – CVE-2022-22722  (CVSS score: 7.5) – Use of hardcoded credentials that could be abused to observe and manipulate traffic associated with the device. CVE-2022-22723  and  CVE-2022-22725  (CVSS score: 8.8) – A buffer overflow vulnerability that could resu
Putin Warns Russian Critical Infrastructure to Brace for Potential Cyber Attacks

Putin Warns Russian Critical Infrastructure to Brace for Potential Cyber Attacks

Feb 25, 2022
The Russian government on Thursday warned of cyber attacks aimed at domestic critical infrastructure operators, as the country's full-blown invasion of Ukraine enters the second day. In addition to cautioning of the "threat of an increase in the intensity of computer attacks," Russia's National Computer Incident Response and Coordination Center  said  that the "attacks can be aimed at disrupting the functioning of important information resources and services, causing reputational damage, including for political purposes." "Any failure in the operation of [critical information infrastructure] objects due to a reason that is not reliably established, first of all, should be considered as the result of a computer attack," the agency added. Furthermore, it notified of possible influence operations undertaken to "form a negative image of the Russian Federation in the eyes of the world community," echoing a  similar alert  released by the U
13 New Flaws in Siemens Nucleus TCP/IP Stack Impact Safety-Critical Equipment

13 New Flaws in Siemens Nucleus TCP/IP Stack Impact Safety-Critical Equipment

Nov 10, 2021
As many as 13 security vulnerabilities have been discovered in the Nucleus TCP/IP stack, a software library now maintained by Siemens and used in three billion operational technology and IoT devices that could allow for remote code execution, denial-of-service (DoS), and information leak. Collectively called " NUCLEUS:13 ," successful attacks abusing the flaws can "result in devices going offline and having their logic hijacked," and "spread[ing] malware to wherever they communicate on the network," researchers from Forescout and Medigate said in a technical report published Tuesday, with one proof-of-concept (PoC) successfully  demonstrating  a scenario that could potentially disrupt medical care and critical processes. Siemens has since released  security updates  to remediate the weaknesses in Nucleus ReadyStart versions 3 (v2017.02.4 or later) and 4 (v4.1.1 or later). Primarily deployed in automotive, industrial, and medical applications, Nucleus
Ransomware Cyber Attack Forced the Largest U.S. Fuel Pipeline to Shut Down

Ransomware Cyber Attack Forced the Largest U.S. Fuel Pipeline to Shut Down

May 09, 2021
Colonial Pipeline , which carries 45% of the fuel consumed on the U.S. East Coast, on Saturday said it halted operations due to a ransomware attack,  once again demonstrating  how critical infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks. "On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack," the company  said  in a statement posted on its website. "We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems." Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the U.S., a 5,500 mile (8,851 km) system involved in transporting over 100 million gallons from the Texas city of Houston to New York Harbor. Cybersecurity firm FireEye's Mandiant incident response division is said to be assisting with the investigation, according to reports from  B
22-Year-Old Charged With Hacking Water System and Endangering Lives

22-Year-Old Charged With Hacking Water System and Endangering Lives

Apr 01, 2021
A 22-year-old man from the U.S. state of Kansas has been indicted on charges that he unauthorizedly accessed a public water facility's computer system, jeopardizing the residents' safety and health in the local community. Wyatt A. Travnichek, 22, of Ellsworth County, Kansas, has been charged with one count of tampering with a public water system and one count of reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ). "By illegally tampering with a public drinking water system, the defendant threatened the safety and health of an entire community,"  said  Lance Ehrig, Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division in Kansas. "EPA and its law enforcement partners are committed to upholding the laws designed to protect our drinking water systems from harm or threat of harm. Today's indictment sends a clear message that individuals who intentionall
Critical Flaws Affecting GE's Universal Relay Pose Threat to Electric Utilities

Critical Flaws Affecting GE's Universal Relay Pose Threat to Electric Utilities

Mar 23, 2021
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned of critical security shortcomings in GE's Universal Relay (UR) family of power management devices. "Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to access sensitive information, reboot the UR, gain privileged access, or cause a denial-of-service condition," the agency said in an advisory published on March 16. GE's universal relays enable  integrated monitoring and metering, high-speed communications, and offer simplified power management for the protection of critical assets. The flaws, which affect a number of UR advanced protection and control relays, including B30, B90, C30, C60, C70, C95, D30, D60, F35, F60, G30, G60, L30, L60, L90, M60, N60, T35 and T60, were addressed by GE with the release of an updated version of the UR firmware (version 8.10) made available on December 24, 2020. The patches resolve a total of nine vulnerabilities, the most importan
Hacker Tried Poisoning Water Supply After Breaking Into Florida's Treatment System

Hacker Tried Poisoning Water Supply After Breaking Into Florida's Treatment System

Feb 09, 2021
Hackers successfully infiltrated the computer system controlling a water treatment facility in the U.S. state of Florida and remotely changed a setting that drastically altered the levels of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the water. During a press conference held yesterday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said an operator managed to catch the manipulation in real-time and restored the concentration levels to undo the damage. "At no time was there a significant effect on the water being treated, and more importantly the public was never in danger," Sheriff Gualtieri  said  in a statement. The water treatment facility, which is located in the city of Oldsmar and serves about 15,000 residents, is said to have been breached for approximately 3 to 5 minutes by unknown suspects on February 5, with the remote access occurring twice at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The attacker briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts-per-million to 11,100 parts-per-million u
Irongate — New Stuxnet-like Malware Targets Industrial Control Systems

Irongate — New Stuxnet-like Malware Targets Industrial Control Systems

Jun 04, 2016
Security researchers have discovered a sophisticated piece of malware that uses tricks from the Stuxnet sabotage malware and is specifically designed to target industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Researchers at the security firm FireEye Labs Advanced Reverse Engineering said on Thursday that the malware, dubbed " IRONGATE ," affects Siemens industrial control systems. The malware only works in a simulated environment and is probably just a proof-of-concept that is likely not used in wild; therefore is not yet advanced enough to impact real-world systems . The Irongate malware "is not viable against operational Siemens control systems," the cybersecurity firm said in its blog post , and the malware "does not exploit any vulnerabilities in Siemens products." The researchers found this malware fascinating due to its mode of operation that included some Stuxnet-like behavior. The Stuxnet sab
Chinese Hackers Caught by US water control system Honeypots

Chinese Hackers Caught by US water control system Honeypots

Aug 05, 2013
A notorious Chinese hacker collective known as APT1 or Comment Crew, possibly linked to the Chinese Army, have been caught red handed breaking into a fake United States water control system i.e. known as a Honeypot . Kyle Wilhoit, a researcher with security company Trend Micro has just revealed the details at BlackHat Conference on Wednesday.  Hackers hacked a water control system for a US municipality back in December last year, but it was merely a decoy set up by Kyle Wilhoit using a Word document hiding malicious software to gain full access.  The honeypots directly mimicked the ICS/Scada devices used in many critical infrastructure power and water plants. Cloud software was used to create realistic Web-based login and configuration screens for local water plants seemingly based in Ireland, Russia, Singapore, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and the U.S. Researchers have been tracked back to the APT1 Group, which security company Mandiant has claimed operate
Iranian Hackers targeting US oil, gas, and electric companies

Iranian Hackers targeting US oil, gas, and electric companies

May 26, 2013
For all the talk about China and the Syrian Electronic Army, it seems there's another threat to U.S. cyber interests i.e Iran. Series of potentially destructive computer attacks that have been targeting American oil, gas and electricity companies tracked back to Iran. Iranian hackers were able to gain access to control-system software that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines. Malware have been found in the power grid that could be used to deliver malicious software to damage plants. The targets have included several American oil, gas and electricity companies, which government officials have refused to identify. The officials stated that the goal of the Iranian attacks is sabotage rather than espionage . Whereas, The cyber attacks from China however, are more aimed at stealing information from the U.S. government that is confidential, as well as from private business.  Mandiant announced that the Chinese government was backing the attacks. However, officials fr
Hunting vulnerabilities in SCADA systems, we are still too vulnerable to cyber attacks

Hunting vulnerabilities in SCADA systems, we are still too vulnerable to cyber attacks

Dec 17, 2012
Stuxnet case is considered by security expert the first concrete act of cyber warfare, a malware specifically designed to hit SCADA systems inside nuclear plants in Iran. The event has alerted the international security community on the risks related to the effects of a cyber attack against supervisory control and data acquisition in industrial environment.  SCADA systems are adopted practically in every industrial control system (ICS) used for the control and monitor of industrial processes that are potential targets of a cyber attack such as a critical infrastructures or a utility facilities. Manufacturing, production, power generation, water treatment facilities, electrical power transmission and distribution and large communication systems are all considered critical asset for every countries and represent privileged targets for cyber attacks. Obtain access to SCADA systems is fundamental step for a attackers that desires to compromise the controlled processes and contrary to
Critical infrastructure managing software vulnerable to Unauthorized access

Critical infrastructure managing software vulnerable to Unauthorized access

Oct 25, 2012
Reid Wightman from security firm ioActive reported that there is an undocumented backdoor available in   CoDeSys  software that actually used to manage equipment in power plants, military environments, and nautical ships. The bug allow malicious hackers to access sensitive systems without authorization, Ars said. The CoDeSys tool will grant a command shell to anyone who knows the proper command syntax and inner workings, leaving systems that are connected to the public Internet open to malicious tampering and There is absolutely no authentication needed to perform this privileged command,  Reid mention. This software has been used in industrial control systems sold by 261 different manufacturers. 3S-Smart Software Solutions designs CoDeSys and recently issued an advisory that recommends users set a password, but  he is able to develop two exploit shells , one is  codesys-shell.py (to get the CoDeSys command shell without authentication) and other , codesys-transfer.py (read or w
Kaspersky Lab Developing Secure Operating System for SCADA

Kaspersky Lab Developing Secure Operating System for SCADA

Oct 17, 2012
Eugene Kaspersky is working with his engineers at Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab to create a secure-by-design OS for ICS. In an interview Kaspersky said " It's true no one else ever tried to make a secure operating system. This may sound weird because of the many efforts Microsoft, Apple and the open source community have made to make their platforms as secure as possible. With all respect, we should admit they were developing a universal solution for a wide range of application and various kinds of users. And security and usability is always a matter of compromise! With a universal OS a developer inevitably sacrifices security for usability ." Companies that maintain ICS are forced to try to patch them on the fly in the event of a malware attack, a process usually easier said than done. Instead, Kaspersky suggests that the solution lies in a secure operating system, one in which ICS can be installed. Such an OS could help ensure that industrial systems stay healthy
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