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'Allanite' Group Targets ICS Networks at Electric Utilities in US, UK
10.5.2018 securityweek ICS
A threat actor has been targeting business and industrial control networks at electric utilities in the United States and United Kingdom, according to industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos.
The group, tracked as “Allanite,” has been linked to campaigns conducted by Dragonfly (aka Energetic Bear and Crouching Yeti) and Dymalloy, which Dragos discovered while analyzing Dragonfly attacks.
According to Dragos, a report published by the DHS in October 2017 combined Dragonfly attacks with Allanite activity. The company also noted that Allanite’s operations closely resemble the Dragonfly-linked Palmetto Fusion campaign described by the DHS in July 2017. However, while their targets and techniques are similar, Dragos believes Allanite is different from Dragonfly and Dymalloy.
Allanite leverages phishing and watering hole attacks to gain access to targeted networks. The group does not use any malware and instead relies on legitimate tools often available in Windows, Dragos says.
While the U.S. government and private sector companies have linked Allanite activity to Russia, Dragos says it “does not corroborate the attribution of others.”
In July 2017, US officials told the press that the hackers had not gained access to operational networks, but Dragos confirmed third-party reports that Allanite did in fact harvest information directly from ICS networks.
Allanite has been active since at least May 2017 and continues to conduct campaigns. Its operations target both business and ICS networks at electric utilities in the US and UK in an effort to conduct reconnaissance and collect intelligence.
Dragos believes with moderate confidence that the threat actor gains access to industrial systems in an effort to obtain information needed to develop disruptive capabilities and be ready in case it decides to cause damage. However, the security firm says the group has yet to actually cause any disruption or damage.
Dragos’ report on Allanite is the first in a series focusing on threat groups targeting critical infrastructure. Information on each actor will be made available through an Activity Groups dashboard, with full technical details made available to paying customers.
Siemens Patches DoS Flaws in Medium Voltage Converters
9.5.2018 securityweek ICS
Siemens has released updates for many of its SINAMICS medium voltage converters to address two remotely exploitable denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerabilities.
According to advisories published by ICS-CERT and Siemens, the flaws impact SINAMICS GH150, GL150, GM150, SL150, SM120 and SM150 converters, which are used worldwide in the energy, chemical, critical manufacturing, water and wastewater, and food and agriculture sectors.Siemens patches two DoS vulnerabilities in SINAMICS medium voltage converters
The more serious of the flaws, identified as CVE-2017-12741 and classified “high severity,” can be exploited to cause a DoS condition by sending specially crafted packets to the device on UDP port 161.
The second weakness, tracked as CVE-2017-2680 and rated “medium,” can be exploited by sending specially crafted PROFINET DCP broadcast packets to the targeted device. This issue is less serious due to the fact that exploitation requires direct Layer 2 access to the impacted product. Siemens noted that PROFIBUS interfaces are not affected.
In both cases, manual intervention is required to restore the device after it has entered a DoS condition.
The vulnerabilities can be patched by updating the firmware to versions 4.7 SP5 HF7, 4.7 HF30 or 4.8 SP2. Siemens says attacks involving CVE-2017-12741 can also be mitigated by blocking network access to port 161.
While in general DoS vulnerabilities may not pose a major risk, these types of weaknesses can have a significant impact in industrial environments, where availability is often crucial.
Unpatched Flaws Expose Lantech Industrial Device Servers to Attacks
7.5.2018 securityweek ICS
Two critical vulnerabilities have been discovered by a researcher in industrial device servers from Taiwan-based industrial networking solutions provider Lantech. The flaws can be exploited remotely even by an attacker with a low skill level, but the vendor has not released any patches.
According to Lantech, IDS 2102 is a device server designed to convert one RS232/422/485 serial port to two 10/100 Ethernet connections. The device, used worldwide in the critical manufacturing sector, can be managed and configured remotely over the Internet.
The vendor claims the device has several security features, including for protecting the network connection and keeping attackers out. However, researcher Florian Adamsky discovered a couple of critical flaws that can be exploited remotely to execute arbitrary code and compromise the system. Lantech IDS 2102 vulnerabilities
The vulnerabilities have been described as an improper input validation issue (CVE-2018-8869) and a stack-based buffer overflow (CVE-2018-8865) – both with CVSS scores of 9.8.
Improper input validation issues can typically be exploited for cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, SQL injection and command injection. In the case of Lantech IDS 2102 devices, nearly all the input fields in the web interface lack validation.
According to Adamsky, both vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely by an attacker who can gain access to the web interface, which by default has no password set.
Exploiting CVE-2018-8869 allows an attacker to write arbitrary data to the device’s main configuration file located at /etc/com2net.conf.
“The program ser2net reads the configuration file and interprets it. One function called del_ip_proceeded_0 tries to ensure that the input is a valid IP address. However, they use strcpy to copy the string and here you have a classical stack-based buffer overflow,” Adamsky told SecurityWeek.
The researcher says an attacker can leverage the first vulnerability to write exploit code to the configuration file and the code gets executed when the file is read by the Ser2net component.
Adamsky says it’s difficult to tell how many devices are exposed to remote attacks from the Internet due to the fact that Lantech uses Linux with default services.
The vulnerabilities affect Lantech IDS 2102 running version 2.0 and prior of the firmware. According to an advisory published by ICS-CERT last week, Lantech has not responded to attempts by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to report the security holes.
SecurityWeek has reached out to the vendor for comment and will update this article if the company responds.
Vulnerabilities in industrial serial-to-ethernet converters
Adamsky and Thomas Engel of the University of Luxembourg’s SECAN-Lab have been analyzing industrial serial-to-ethernet converters, which are often used in critical infrastructure, including power plants, water treatment facilities, and chemical plants. In the 2015 attack on Ukraine’s power grid, which resulted in significant blackouts, hackers targeted these types of devices in an effort to make them inoperable.
In November 2017, ICS-CERT published an advisory describing several high severity vulnerabilities found by the researchers as part of this project in Moxa NPort serial device servers. Unlike Lantech, however, Moxa released firmware updates to patch the flaws.
“So far, we have investigated three common serial-to-ethernet converters and found serious security vulnerabilities in each of them,” Adamsky told SecurityWeek. “These devices are normally not cheap (nearly all of them cost > $100) but there is nearly no software quality.”
“At least Moxa fixed the security vulnerabilities. In case of Lantech, they are not interested in fixing these bugs at all. This is very dangerous, especially for providers of critical infrastructure,” he added.
Indegy Launches Industrial Security Risk Assessment Service
4.5.2018 securityweek ICS
Industrial cybersecurity firm Indegy on Thursday announced the launch of a risk assessment service designed to help organizations evaluate exposures in their operational technology (OT) environments.
Indegy says its new service provides visibility and control into the security posture of industrial control systems (ICS) and the networks housing them.
The Indegy Risk Assessment Service is designed to identify risks and map them to their origin, assigning severity scores for each identified issue.
Indegy launches risk assessment service for ICS
According to Indegy, the service combines network traffic monitoring and analysis with device integrity assessment capabilities to identify account-related issues, insider threats, known vulnerabilities, open network ports, and control device configuration problems.
Once the assessment has been completed, organizations are provided a detailed report that includes a risk score for each asset and the network in general.
The Risk Assessment Service is available immediately and it can provide useful information for executives, managers, IT personnel, security analysts, and automation engineers, Indegy said.
“Most industrial organizations are now realizing that their OT environment is at risk more than ever before and they need to implement new security controls. Their biggest challenge is knowing where to start,” says Mille Gandelsman, CTO of Indegy.
“Our Risk Assessment Service provides facilities operators with clear and documented visibility into all the risks, vulnerabilities and exposures in their OT networks. More importantly it delivers an actionable blueprint for closing security gaps that can and have taken down mission critical operations,” Gandelsman added.
Industrial Networks Easy to Hack From Corporate Systems: Study
4.5.2018 securityweek ICS
Hackers could in many organizations easily gain access to industrial environments from the corporate network, according to an analysis conducted by Positive Technologies.
The study, based on data from nearly a dozen companies around the world in the oil and gas, metallurgy, and energy sectors, found that the corporate network perimeter can be penetrated in 73% of cases, often due to misconfigurations.
All of the tested companies had SSH, Telnet, RDP and other administration interfaces exposed, and 91% relied on dictionary passwords for privileged users. Other types of security holes on the corporate network perimeter included exposed DBMS interfaces (82%), vulnerable software (64%), use of insecure protocols (64%), arbitrary file upload flaws (45%), remote command execution vulnerabilities (36%), and excessive software and user privileges (36%). The difficulty of exploiting these flaws was in nearly 80% of cases described as “low” or “trivial.”
Within the corporate network, researchers found a wide range of weaknesses that could have allowed malicious actors to escalate privileges and move laterally. Weak passwords, vulnerable software and operating systems, and flaws in network segmentation and traffic filtering were the most commonly found issues.
Once inside the corporate network, attackers could have moved to industrial environments in 82% of cases. In nearly two-thirds of the analyzed companies, hackers could have gained access to the industrial network using special control channels that bypass the demilitarized zone (DMZ). In 45% of cases, investigators found poor traffic filtering between the networks, and in other organizations there was either no DMZ between the networks (18%) or no network segmentation (18%).
“These flaws are of high severity because if the attack is successful, critical servers are compromised. It might seem that having a dedicated channel for remote control of gateway servers is less risky, because an attacker would need to obtain access to specific workstations in the corporate information system. But it is an illusion that such a solution is secure. This method of penetrating the industrial network was successfully demonstrated in most test cases,” Positive Technologies said in its report.
Even if network segmentation has been properly implemented, an attacker can often still gain access to industrial systems, the study shows. This involves accessing the firewall with admin privileges and reconfiguring it to allow a connection from a malicious or compromised device.
Researchers found that obtaining the needed credentials is in many cases easy, again due to weak or poorly protected passwords. Attackers can obtain credentials from corporate IT systems where they are often stored in clear text, through brute-force attacks aimed directly at the firewall, or by obtaining encrypted passwords and cracking them.
Schneider Electric Development Tools InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition are affected by a critical buffer flaw
4.5.2018 securityaffairs ICS
Researchers at Tenable have disclosed technical details and a PoC code for a critical remote code execution vulnerability affecting Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition products.
Experts at security firm Tenable have discovered a critical remote code execution vulnerability affecting Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition products.
The InduSoft Web Studio is a development tool for human-machine interfaces (HMIs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and embedded instrumentation solutions, while the InTouch Machine Edition is an HMI/SCADA development tool.
Boot products are widely adopted in almost any industry, from energy to building automation.
Researchers at Tenable discovered a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability in the tools that can be exploited by a remote unauthenticated attacker to trigger a DoS condition or to execute arbitrary code execution with elevated privileges.
Tenable disclosed technical details and the following proof-of-concept (PoC) code for the vulnerability:
cat <(echo -ne '\x02\x57\x03\x02\x32'`python -c 'print "A"*0x500'`'\x09\x0a\x03') - | nc <target_host> 1234
According to the researchers, the buffer overflow issue could be exploited to fully compromise the vulnerable system and use it as an entry point in the target network.
An attacker can exploit the flaw by sending specially crafted packets and use HMI clients to read and write tags, and monitor alarms and events, he only needs to remotely connect to port 1234 on the targeted machine.
“Tenable Research found a new stack-based buffer overflow in InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition. A threat actor could send a crafted packet to exploit the buffer overflow vulnerability using a tag, alarm, event, read or write action to execute code.” reads the analysis published by Tenable.
“The vulnerability can be remotely exploited without authentication and targets the IWS Runtime Data Server service, by default on TCP port 1234. The software implements a custom protocol that uses various “commands.” This vulnerability is triggered through command 50, and is caused by the incorrect usage of a string conversion function.”
The flaw affects InduSoft Web Studio v8.1 and prior, and InTouch Machine Edition 2017 v8.1 and prior.
Schneider Electric addressed the vulnerability with the release of v8.1 SP1 for both products, security patches were made available on April 6.
“Customers using InduSoft Web Studio v8.1 or prior versions are affected and should upgrade and apply InduSoft Web Studio v8.1 SP1 as soon as possible.” reads the advisory published by Schneider Electric.
“Customers using InTouch Machine Edition 2017 v8.1 or prior versions are affected and should upgrade and apply InTouch Machine Edition 2017 v8.1 SP1 as soon as possible.”
Schneider Electric Development Tools Affected by Critical Flaw
4.5.2018 securityweek ICS
Security firm Tenable has disclosed the details of a critical remote code execution vulnerability affecting Schneider Electric’s InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition products.
InduSoft Web Studio is a toolset designed for developing human-machine interfaces (HMIs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and embedded instrumentation solutions, and InTouch Machine Edition is an HMI/SCADA development tool that can be used for both advanced applications and small-footprint embedded devices. The products are used worldwide in the manufacturing, oil and gas, water and wastewater, automotive, building automation, and renewable energy sectors.
The tools are impacted by a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability that can be exploited without authentication for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and arbitrary code execution with elevated privileges.
Tenable, whose employees discovered the flaw, reports that a malicious actor could exploit the weakness to gain complete control of the affected system and use it as a pivot point for lateral movement within the network. The company has released technical details and proof-of-concept (PoC) code.
The security hole is related to InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition functionality that allows HMI clients to read and write tags, and monitor alarms and events.
“The vulnerability is similar to CVE-2017-14024 in that it involves calling mbstowcs() in TCPServer.dll. However, this new vulnerability leverages command 50 instead of command 49. The vulnerability can be remotely exploited without authentication and targets the IWS Runtime Data Server service, by default on TCP port 1234,” Tenable explained.
The company says an attacker can exploit the vulnerability remotely if they are able to connect to port 1234 on the targeted machine.
„This means that if the machine is on a private network, the attacker would need to be on the same network. If, however, the machine and the service/port have been opened to the internet, then an attacker can exploit it via the internet,” Tenable Research told SecurityWeek.
The vulnerability impacts InduSoft Web Studio v8.1 and prior, and InTouch Machine Edition 2017 v8.1 and prior. Schneider Electric patched the flaw with the release of v8.1 SP1 for both products. The vendor acknowledged the issue on January 28 and released patches on April 6. The security firm has confirmed that the patch works.
The similar vulnerability referenced by Tenable, CVE-2017-14024, was patched by Schneider in September 2017. It also impacted InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition, and allowed remote code execution.
Internet Exposure, Flaws Put Industrial Safety Controllers at Risk of Attacks
26.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Applied Risk details safety controller flaws at ICS Cyber Security Conference Singapore
SINGAPORE — SECURITYWEEK 2018 ICS CYBER SECURITY CONFERENCE | SINGAPORE — Researchers have discovered a potentially serious vulnerability in industrial safety controllers and a significant number of the impacted devices are directly exposed to the Internet, making it easy for malicious actors to launch attacks and possibly cause damage.
Safety systems are designed to prevent incidents in industrial environments by restoring processes to a safe state or shut them down if parameters indicate a potentially hazardous situation. While these devices play an important role in ensuring physical safety, they can and have been targeted by malicious hackers. The best example is the Triton/Trisis/Hatman attack, which leveraged a zero-day vulnerability in Schneider Electric’s Triconex Safety Instrumented System (SIS) controllers.
Researchers at industrial cybersecurity firm Applied Risk have analyzed safety controllers from several major vendors, including Siemens, ABB, Rockwell Automation’s Allen Bradley, Pilz, and Phoenix Contact.
The research is ongoing, but they have identified a denial-of-service (DoS) flaw that may affect several products. Details of the vulnerability were disclosed on Wednesday at SecurityWeek’s ICS Cyber Security Conference in Singapore by Gjoko Krstic, senior ICS security researcher at Applied Risk.
The vulnerability allows a remote attacker to cause a safety controller to reboot and enter faulted mode. Manual intervention is required to restore the device, Krstic told SecurityWeek in an interview.
The security hole can be leveraged to cause the device to enter a DoS condition by sending it a specially crafted TCP packet. Specifically, the attack relies on EtherNet/IP, one of the most widely used industrial network protocols.
Applied Risk researchers discovered that an attacker can cause safety controllers to fail by sending them a TCP packet that starts with the No Operation (NOP) option. Experts determined that, for some reason, safety controllers cannot handle incorrect TCP options.
Krstic says there is no other requirement for the attack to work. An attacker with access to the targeted controller, either from the Internet or the local network, can cause the device to become inoperable simply by sending it a packet.
An exploit has been tested by Applied Risk on Rockwell Automation’s Allen Bradley 1769 Compact GuardLogix 5370 controllers, but since the underlying issue is related to Ethernet/IP, researchers believe products from other vendors are likely affected as well.
All impacted vendors have been informed. Rockwell Automation, which has assigned CVE-2017-9312 to this vulnerability, is expected to release a patch and an advisory sometime in May.
Applied Risk has identified nearly a dozen Allen Bradley 1769 Compact GuardLogix 5370 controllers exposed directly to the Internet. However, the total number of safety controllers accessible from the Web is much higher. A Shodan search for the popular Siemens Simatic S7 devices, which include safety controllers, reveals nearly 900 results.
Given the significant role of safety controllers in industrial environments, causing a device to enter a DoS condition could have serious consequences, including physical damage to equipment and physical harm to people.
As the Triton/Trisis attack on Schneider Electric devices showed, writing malicious programs to a controller requires that the device’s key switch is set to “Program” mode. As part of its research into safety controllers, Applied Risk has been trying to find a way to remotely bypass the key switch and, while they have yet to succeed, experts are optimistic based on their progress so far.
Researchers Analyze Servers Compromised by Russian Hackers
23.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Researchers from Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT have analyzed servers compromised by the infamous threat actor known as Energetic Bear in recent years.
Active since at least 2010, the group is also referred to as Dragonfly and Crouching Yeti, and has been mainly focused on companies in the energy and industrial sectors. Following an alert in October 2017 on ongoing attacks from the group, a March 2018 advisory from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) linked the group to the Russian government.
In a separate report last Month, endpoint security firm Cylance revealed that the hackers compromised a Cisco router and abused it to steal credentials that allowed them to set up attacks targeting energy companies in the United Kingdom.
The servers Kaspersky researchers analyzed are distributed worldwide: Russia, Ukraine, UK, Germany, Turkey, Greece, and the United States. Most of the compromised servers were used to launch waterhole attacks, while the remaining ones were employed for collecting user data in the waterhole attack, and some also for tool hosting.
As part of these attacks, the group attempted to extract various data from the user’s connection to the waterhole, such as user IP, user name, domain name, and NTLM hash of the user’s password, Kaspersky reveals.
In some cases, the compromised servers were used to conduct attacks on other resources, with the attackers employing numerous tools to scan websites and servers. Most of the scanned resources were located in Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, with Brazil, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, U.S., France, and Vietnam also hit.
While the scanned sites and servers don’t appear to be connected, the attackers likely targeted them while looking for suitable hosts for their tools, in an attempt to set up further attacks. The researchers did not identify multiple attempts to compromise a specific target, with the exception of several cases.
On the compromised servers, Kaspersky found multiple open-source and publicly available tools, including Nmap (network analysis), Dirsearch (brute forcing directories and files on websites), Sqlmap (SQL injection exploitation), Sublist3r (enumerates website subdomains), Wpscan (WordPress vulnerability scanner), Impacket, SMBTrap, Commix (vulnerability search and command injection), Subbrute (subdomain enumeration), and PHPMailer (mail sending).
A custom Python script named ftpChecker.py and capable of checking FTP hosts from an incoming list was also found on one of the servers.
The researchers also found a series of malicious php files in different directories in the nginx folder, as well as in a working directory the attackers created on an infected web server. A modified sshd with a preinstalled backdoor was also discovered there.
The backdoor is similar to a tool publicly available on GitHub, and can be compiled on any OS. By replacing the original sshd file on the infected server, the attackers can use a ‘master password’ to log to the remote server, leaving minimal traces.
On the compromised servers, the attackers installed the tools they needed at different times (including any packages and tools for Python). The hackers logged on to the server roughly at the same time of the day, and checked the smbtrap log file on working days.
By using publicly available tools, the attackers made attribution without any additional ‘markers’ very difficult. The attackers also show diversity of interests and could potentially target any server on the Internet when looking to establish a foothold.
In most cases, the security researchers determined that the group performed tasks related to searching for vulnerabilities, gaining persistence, and stealing authentication data.
“It can be assumed with some degree of certainty that the group operates in the interests of or takes orders from customers that are external to it, performing initial data collection, the theft of authentication data and gaining persistence on resources that are suitable for the attack’s further development,” Kaspersky concludes.
Security Pros at Energy Firms Concerned About 'Catastrophic' Attacks
18.4.2018 securityweek Attack ICS
Many cybersecurity professionals working in the energy sector are concerned that an attack on their organization’s industrial control systems (ICS) could have “catastrophic” consequences, according to a study conducted recently by Dimensional Research on behalf of security and compliance solutions provider Tripwire.
Of the more than 150 respondents, including IT and OT security professionals in energy and oil and gas companies, 91% say they are worried about the risk of attacks on ICS. Nearly all respondents are very concerned or somewhat concerned about an attack leading to operational shutdowns or downtime that impacts customers.
Other areas of major concern include physical damage to infrastructure, employee safety, impact on the organization’s reputation, and data theft.
Seventy percent of the cybersecurity professionals who took part in the survey say they are worried about an attack on ICS resulting in a “catastrophic event,” such as an explosion at the facility, and 90% are concerned that an attack could lead to equipment malfunction or failure.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe their company’s investment in ICS security is sufficient, while 28% believe it’s insufficient. Of those who believe their current investment is not enough, 56% say their company would increase the budget if they are hit by a significant attack, and 53% believe management just needs additional information on the threat.
In fact, 59% admit that the recent incidents involving Trisis (Triton), Industroyer (CrashOverride), and Stuxnet malware have led to an increased budget. One-third say they haven’t received additional funding for cybersecurity, but they are aware of the threats.
“It's encouraging to see that companies have increased their security investment somewhat,” said Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire. “However, it’s concerning that more than half would wait for an attack to happen before investing properly, given what's at stake with critical infrastructure. The energy industry should invest in establishing more robust cybersecurity strategies, with a proper foundation of critical security controls and layers of defense.”
High-profile pieces of malware such as Trisis and Industroyer have had a significant impact on security investments, but incidents involving ransomware have had the same degree of impact, the study shows.
While a majority of respondents have named lack of budget and investment (62%) the main barrier to meeting ICS security goals, others named the lack of talent and expertise (22%), and the complexity of the technology their are using (16%).
A report published recently by Kaspersky Lab showed that the energy sector was targeted by cyberattacks more than any other industry, and many of the vulnerabilities disclosed last year impacted products used in this sector.
Talos experts found many high severity flaws in Moxa EDR-810 industrial routers
16.4.2018 securityaffairs ICS
Security experts at Cisco’s Talos group have discovered a total of 17 vulnerabilities in Moxa EDR-810 industrial routers manufactured by Moxa.
The Moxa EDR-810 is an integrated industrial multiport router that implements firewall, NAT, VPN and managed Layer 2 switch capabilities.
These devices are used in industrial environments to protect systems such as PLC and SCADA systems in factory automation and DCS in oil and gas organizations.
“Today, Talos is disclosing several vulnerabilities that have been identified in Moxa EDR-810 industrial secure router.” reads the security advisory published by Talos.
“Moxa EDR-810 is an industrial secure router with firewall/NAT/VPN and managed Layer 2 switch functions. It is designed for Ethernet-based security applications in remote control or monitoring networks. Moxa EDR-810 provides an electronic security perimeter for the protection of critical assets such as pumping/ treatment systems in water stations, DCS systems in oil and gas applications, and PLC/SCADA systems in factory automation.”
Researchers have discovered many high severity command injection vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-12120, CVE-2017-12121, CVE-2017-12125, CVE-2017-14432 to 14434) affecting the web server functionality.
Some of the issues discovered by Cisco Talos team could allow an attacker to escalate privileges and obtain a root shell on the target Moxa EDR-810 devices by simply sending specially crafted HTTP POST requests.
“TALOS-2017-0472 is an exploitable command injection vulnerability that exists in the web server functionality of Moxa EDR-810. A specially crafted HTTP POST can cause a privilege escalation resulting in attacker having access to a root shell.” reads the description for the CVE-2017-12120 flaw.
“An attacker may be able to inject OS commands into the ifs= parm in the “/goform/net_WebPingGetValue” uri to trigger this vulnerability and take control over the targeted device.”
Similar is the CVE-2017-12121 that resides in the web server functionality of Moxa EDR-810.
“A specially crafted HTTP POST can cause a privilege escalation resulting in attacker having access to a root shell. An attacker can inject OS commands into the rsakey\_name= parm in the “/goform/WebRSAKEYGen” uri to trigger this vulnerability and take control over the targeted device.” continues the analysis published by Talos.
The experts also discovered several high severity DoS vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-14435 to 14437, CVE-2017-12124, CVE-2017-14438 and 14439) that can be exploited by sending specially crafted requests to the device.
“TALOS-2017-0476 is an exploitable denial of service vulnerability that exists in the web server functionality of Moxa EDR-810. Access to a specially crafted HTTP URI can cause a null pointer dereference resulting in the web server crashing. An attacker can send a crafted URI to trigger this vulnerability.” reads the description for the CVE-2017-12124.
The experts also reported four medium severity issues related to the storage in plaintext of the passwords, information disclosure affecting the Server Agent functionality, and the use of weakly encrypted or clear text passwords.
Moxa has released an updated version of the firmware to address the above issues.
Severe Flaws Expose Moxa Industrial Routers to Attacks
16.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Cisco’s Talos intelligence and research group has reported identifying a total of 17 vulnerabilities in an industrial router from Moxa, including many high severity command injection and denial-of-service (DoS) flaws.
The security holes have been identified in Moxa EDR-810, an integrated industrial multiport secure router that provides firewall, NAT, VPN and managed Layer 2 switch capabilities. According to the vendor, the device is designed for controlling, monitoring and protecting critical assets, such as pumping and treatment systems in water stations, PLC and SCADA systems in factory automation applications, and DCS in oil and gas organizations.Moxa industrial router vulnerabilities
Several of the problems found by Cisco have been described as high severity command injection vulnerabilities affecting the web server functionality of this Moxa router. The flaws allow an attacker to escalate privileges and obtain a root shell on the system by sending specially crafted HTTP POST requests to the targeted device.
The industrial router is also impacted by several high severity DoS flaws that can be exploited by sending specially crafted requests to the device.
There are also four medium severity issues related to the transmission of passwords in clear text, information disclosure involving the Server Agent functionality, and the use of weakly encrypted or clear text passwords. Cisco has made available technical details and proof-of-concept (PoC) code for each of the vulnerabilities.
The vulnerabilities have been reproduced on Moxa EDR-810 v4.1 devices, and they have been patched by the vendor with the release of version 4.2 on April 12. The issues were reported to Moxa in mid and late November 2017, which means it took the company roughly 150 days to release a fix – this is the average patching time for SCADA systems, according to a report published last year by ZDI.
This was not the first time Talos researchers found vulnerabilities in Moxa products. Last year, Talos published advisories describing more than a dozen security holes uncovered in Moxa access points.
This is also not the first time security experts find weaknesses in Moxa’s EDR routers. Back in 2016, researcher Maxim Rupp identified multiple high severity vulnerabilities that could have been exploited for DoS attacks, privilege escalation, and arbitrary code execution.
Mocana Launches Supply Chain Integrity Platform to Secure IoT, ICS Devices
13.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Mocana TrustCenter Manages Security Across IoT and ICS Device Lifecycles
Securing the supply chain, and securing industrial IoT devices and industrial control systems (ICS) are two of security's biggest challenges today -- but securing the supply chain of industrial IoT is particularly challenging.
Manufacturers are beginning to add security capabilities to the devices. Mocana's security software sits on around 100 million devices, and the company's customers include manufacturers such as Siemens, GE, Bosch and Panasonic. "Companies have begun to add security to IoT at the network level, and many have Mocana security onboard," Mocana's VP of marketing, Keao Caindec, told SecurityWeek; "but what is still missing is really a focus on protecting the supply chain."
A primary problem is a lack of essential security on the devices. Manufacturers still cut corners to keep costs down and speed of delivery up; while users tend to spend their security budget on threat detection and firewalls surrounding the devices rather than ensuring that the device has its own security. Mocana's device security can add security capabilities to the device. Now, with the launch of a new TrustCenter platform, it can also ensure that firmware updates and patches are genuine and not compromised by man-in-the-middle attacks.
Protecting the supply chain now completes the Mocana process of applying security to the complete IoT device security lifecycle.
Supply chain attacks are already happening. In one example, reported by Brian Krebs, the U.S. Secret Service issued an alert to banks in March 2018. Criminals are intercepting mail containing corporate debit payment cards. They swap the existing chip for an old or invalid chip and allow it to be delivered to the customer. The customer receives the apparently new card and activates it. Once this happens, the criminals can use the stolen chip for their own purposes.
The Secret Service warning does not indicate how the criminals intercept the card. However, an investigation by the BBC in 2017 describes postal workers in the UK being offered £1000 per week to intercept and steal mail, including bank cards. "In 2016," says the BBC, "there were 11,377 cases of fraud where a card is stolen in transit, costing card issuers £12.5m."
For embedded and installed devices, criminals are more likely to attack and compromise the software update process. "Securing devices during firmware updates is a big issue," said Caindec. "Automobile manufacturers have a big problem in front of them in scaling to support up to 100 ECUs (engine control units) in cars, controlling everything from infotainment to autonomous driving and obstacle avoidance -- and they need to update those in an almost constant stream of updates. How do you ensure that all of those updates are trusted and not being implemented on devices that are already compromised?"
Part of the larger issue of ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, he added, "is the sheer complexity, because it includes the component manufacturers, the software developer, and the operators and end users of the devices that need to be updated."
To ease this problem, his firm has announced the new Mocana TrustCenter. Its three primary purposes are to provide supply chain integrity, allow faster development and provisioning of devices containing TrustPoint security, and to reduce costs by automating secure enrollment and provisioning at a scale suitable for the billions of IoT devices being manufactured.
"It is a services platform that allows manufacturers and operators of devices to securely enroll and update their devices," he explained. "We automate the enrollment of the devices by using the enrollment over secure transport (EST -- RFC 7030) standard that automates certificate management. Customers can now implement a secure credential in these IoT devices automatically within seconds, reducing many of the manual processes that companies go through, from minutes down to seconds. This will help companies to really scale IoT and to secure their devices."
TrustCenter also provides a secure update service. "It is really a platform that we provide, that sits on the customer's own metal or in their public or private cloud infrastructure." It automates secure device onboarding, enrollment and over-the-air (OTA) updates for IoT and ICS. Mission-critical systems used in aerospace, defense, industrial manufacturing, transportation, medical, and automotive can now automate the IoT security software integration process.
It enables, continued Caindec, "a software developer to make a change to firmware, sign the code and pass it on to the manufacturer. The manufacturer can sign it, and provide it to the owner of the device -- who can then sign it and implement it securely knowing that the device is going to be able to verify through MFA software on the device that the software developer and manufacturer and owner have all approved this update. Only then will it decrypt the software and install the update."
The new Mocana TrustCenter secures the device firmware supply chain, while the Mocana TrustPoint secures the device itself. By integrating the two, Mocana seeks to secure the complete IoT security lifecycle.
“Traditional IT and OT security approaches are not enough to defend against the sophisticated threats from hackers and state actors,” comments William Diotte, Mocana's CEO. “With escalating cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and IoT, it’s imperative that industrial companies implement stronger controls in their automation and control equipment. Mocana TrustCenter and TrustPoint make it easier to implement strong security into devices by automating the lifecycle of cybersecurity for a device."
San Francisco, CA-based Mocana was founded in 2004, originally to provide security for devices in military equipment, from aircraft to tanks. Since then it has diversified and raised a total of $80.7 million in a series of relatively small funding rounds including $25 million series D funding in 2012. The most recent Series F funding for $11 million was announced in May 2017.
Researchers discovered several flaws that expose electrical substations to hack
12.4.2018 securityaffairs ICS
The ICS-CERT and Siemens published are warning organizations of security flaws in Siemens devices (SIPROTEC 4, SIPROTEC Compact, and Reyrolle devices) that could be exploited by hackers to target electrical substations.
“Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to upload a modified device configuration that could overwrite access authorization passwords, or allow an attacker to capture certain network traffic that could contain authorization passwords.” reads the advisory published by the ICS-CERT.
The Siemens devices provide integrated protection, control, measurement, and automation functions for several applications, including electrical substations.
Siemens has already issued security patches and mitigations for the flaws.
The vulnerabilities were discovered by security experts at Positive Technologies, let’s analyzed the flaws discovered by the experts.
“Positive Technologies experts Ilya Karpov, Dmitry Sklyarov, and Alexey Stennikov detected high-risk vulnerabilities in power-system protection from Siemens that is used to control and protect such power supply facilities equipment as electrical substations or hydroelectric power stations. Siemens has fixed the vulnerabilities and issued the corresponding advisories.” states the post published by Positive Technologies.
“By exploiting these vulnerabilities, an attacker is able to change the configuration of power-system protection relay which can lead to disruption of the power equipment protection function (and potentially to an accident) or customer curtailment.”
The most severe vulnerability (rated high severity), tracked as CVE-2018-4840 can be exploited by a remote and unauthenticated attacker to modify the device’s configuration and overwrite access passwords.
“The device engineering mechanism allows an unauthenticated remote user to upload a modified device configuration overwriting access authorization passwords. ” reads the security advisory published by Siemens.
The second flaw, tracked as CVE-2018-4839, is a medium severity issue that could be exploited by a local or network attacker to recover the access authorization password by intercepting network traffic or obtaining data from the targeted device. Once the attacker has obtained the password he can use it to gain complete access to a device.
Both CVE-2018-4840 and CVE-2018-4839 affects the EN100 Ethernet modules and the DIGSI 4 operation and configuration software used by SIPROTEC 4 and SIPROTEC Compact relay families.
Researchers at Positive Technologies also discovered a high severity vulnerability tracked as CVE-2018-4838 that resides in the web interface of the relays (SIPROTEC 4, SIPROTEC Compact, and Reyrolle relays that use EN100 modules.) that could be exploited by an unauthenticated attacker to downgrade the firmware on a device to a version that is known to be affected by vulnerabilities.
“CVE-2018-4838 allows an intruder to remotely upload an obsolete firmware version that contains known vulnerabilities and to execute code on the target system. Devices that use the EN100 communication module (SIPROTEC 4, SIPROTEC Compact, and Reyrolle) can be attacked.” states the advisory published by the company.
The above issued represent a serious threat to electrical substations that are a key component in the electric grids.
Electrical Substations Exposed to Attacks by Flaws in Siemens Devices
12.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Electrical substations and other power supply facilities are exposed to hacker attacks due to several potentially serious vulnerabilities discovered by researchers in some Siemens protection relays.
On March 8, Siemens and ICS-CERT published advisories to warn organizations of the existence of three vulnerabilities in SIPROTEC 4, SIPROTEC Compact, and Reyrolle devices, which provide integrated protection, control, measurement, and automation functions for electrical substations and other applications. The vendor has released patches and mitigations for each of the flaws.
Positive Technologies, the company whose researchers discovered the flaws, has now provided information regarding the risk and impact.Siemens SIPROTEC relay flaws expose electrical substations to attacks
One of the vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2018-4840 and rated high severity, can be exploited by a remote and unauthenticated attacker to modify the device’s configuration and overwrite access passwords.
Another security hole, CVE-2018-4839, is a medium severity issue that allows a local or network attacker to recover the access authorization password by intercepting network traffic or obtaining data from the targeted device. The password can be used to gain complete access to a relay, Positive Technologies said.
CVE-2018-4840 and CVE-2018-4839 impact SIPROTEC 4 and SIPROTEC Compact protection relays, specifically the EN100 Ethernet modules and the DIGSI 4 operation and configuration software used by the devices.
Positive Technologies also informed Siemens of CVE-2018-4838, a high severity vulnerability in the web interface that allows an unauthenticated attacker to downgrade the firmware on a device to a version that contains known flaws. This security hole affects SIPROTEC 4, SIPROTEC Compact, and Reyrolle relays that use EN100 modules.
According to Positive Technologies, these vulnerabilities can pose a serious risk to electrical facilities and their exploitation could even result in power supply disruptions.
“By exploiting these vulnerabilities, an attacker is able to change the configuration of power-system protection relay which can lead to disruption of the power equipment protection function (and potentially to an accident) or customer curtailment,” the security firm warned.
Malicious actors targeting SIPROTEC relays is not unheard of. While analyzing the piece of malware known as Industroyer and Crashoverride, which is believed to have been used in the December 2016 attack aimed at an electrical substation in Ukraine, researchers discovered a denial-of-service (DoS) tool that exploits a SIPROTEC vulnerability patched in 2015 to cause relays to become unresponsive.
Business-Critical Systems Increasingly Hit by Ransomware: Verizon 2018 DBIR
10.4.2018 securityweek ICS Ransomware
Ransomware has become the most prevalent type of malware and it has increasingly targeted business-critical systems, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).
The 11th edition of the DBIR is based on data provided to Verizon by 67 organizations, and it covers more than 53,000 incidents and over 2,200 breaches across 65 countries.
According to Verizon, ransomware was found in 39% of cases involving malware. Experts believe ransomware has become so prevalent due to the fact that it’s easy to deploy — even for less skilled cybercriminals — and the risks and costs associated with conducting an operation are relatively small for the attacker.
Cybercriminals have increasingly started using ransomware to target mission-critical systems, such as file servers and databases, which causes more damage to the targeted organization compared to only desktop systems getting compromised.
By targeting a larger number of devices and more important systems within an organization, attackers can demand bigger ransoms.
“What is interesting to us is that businesses are still not investing in appropriate security strategies to combat ransomware, meaning they end up with no option but to pay the ransom – the cybercriminal is the only winner here!” explained Bryan Sartin, executive director of security professional services at Verizon. “As an industry, we have to help our customers take a more proactive approach to their security. Helping them to understand the threats they face is the first step to putting in place solutions to protect themselves.”
According to the latest DBIR, financially-motivated attacks remain the most common and accounted for 76% of breaches analyzed in 2017. Cyber espionage is the second most common type of attack, accounting for 13% of breaches.
Nearly three-quarters of attacks were conducted by outsiders, half of which were organized crime groups, and 12% were state-sponsored threat actors.
Almost half of the attacks analyzed by Verizon involved hacking and 30% relied on malware. One in five incidents involved mistakes made by employees, including misconfigured web servers, emails sent to the wrong person, and failure to shred confidential documents.
While 78% of employees did not click on any phishing links, 4% will fall for any given campaign. This is a small percentage, but one victim is enough for an attacker to gain access to an organization’s systems, Verizon warned.
The telecoms giant also revealed that the number of incidents involving pretexting has increased more than five times since the previous DBIR. Of the 170 incidents analyzed in 2017, 88 targeted HR staff with the goal of obtaining personal data that could be used to file fraudulent tax returns.
Both an executive summary and the full report are available directly from Verizon in PDF format — no registration is required.
Schneider Electric Patches 16 Flaws in Building Automation Software
9.4.2018 securityweek ICS
Schneider Electric informed customers last week that the latest version of its U.motion Builder software patches a total of 16 vulnerabilities, including ones rated critical and high severity.
U.motion is a building automation solution used around the world in the commercial facilities, critical manufacturing and energy sectors. U.motion Builder is a tool that allows users to create projects for their U.motion devices.
Researchers discovered that the Builder software is affected by 16 vulnerabilities, including path traversals and other bugs that can lead to information disclosure, and remote code execution flaws via SQL injection.
A majority of the security holes have been classified as medium severity, but some of them are more serious based on their CVSS score.
The most severe, with a CVSS score of 10, actually impacts the Samba software suite. The flaw allows remote code execution and it has been dubbed “SambaCry” by some members of the industry due to similarities to the WannaCry attack. The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2017-7494, has been found to impact devices from several major vendors, including Cisco, Netgear, QNAP, Synology, Veritas, Sophos and F5 Networks.
Another serious vulnerability in U.motion Builder, identified as CVE-2018-7777, allows an authenticated attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code by sending specially crafted requests to the targeted server. One of the SQL injection flaws, CVE-2018-7765, has also been classified as high severity.
Most of these weaknesses were reported to Schneider by researcher Andrea Micalizzi, also known as “rgod,” and one was disclosed to the company by Constantin-Cosmin Craciun.
The issues affect U.motion Builder versions prior to 1.3.4, which Schneider released in early February. In addition to providing patches, the company has shared some recommendations for mitigating potential attacks.
This is not the first time Micalizzi has been credited for finding vulnerabilities in U.motion Builder. Last year, ICS-CERT reported that the researcher had found half a dozen types of flaws in this software. Those issues were disclosed in late June 2017 before patches were made available by Schneider as they were reported to the vendor via Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) more than one year earlier.
Many natural gas pipeline operators in the U.S. Gas affected by cyberattack
5.4.2018 securityaffairs ICS
Natural gas pipeline operators in the United States have been affected by a cyber attack that hit a third-party communications system.
The hackers targeted the Latitude Technologies unit at the Energy Services Group, but the attack did not impact operational technology.
At least four US pipeline operators were affected by the attack on their electronic systems, the Energy Transfer Partners was the first company that reported problems with its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system.
The Electronic Data Interchange platform used by businesses to exchange sensitive documents, including invoices and purchase orders.
Latitude currently provides EDI services to more than 100 natural gas pipeline firms, storage facilities, utilities, law firms, and energy marketers across the US. The companies in the energy industry use it to manage key energy transactions.
According to a report published by Bloomberg, the attack against Latitude affected Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s Eastern Shore Natural Gas, and ONEOK, Inc.
“We do not believe any customer data was compromised,” Latitude Technologies unit of Energy Services Group told Bloomberg.
“We are investigating the re-establishment of this data,” Latitude said in a message to customers.”
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the incident, at the time of writing there are no details about the cyber attack.
On Tuesday, Latitude notified its customers that the restoration of EDI services had been completed.
“Monday 4/3/2018 7:49am We have completed the initial restoration of the system. We are now working towards increasing performance. While we believe things to be fully restored, we will continue to monitor for gaps in functionality.” states the advisory published by Latitude Technologies.
“Please notify us if you encounter any missing capabilities so we can address them ASAP. Please contact us with any questions at 972-519-5451. Thank you for your patience. Please check this web site for continuing updates”
Who is behind the attack?
At the time it is impossible to determine the nature of the attackers, financially motivated cybercrime gangs could be interested in stealing sensitive information and use them to blackmail firms. It is likely that crooks targeted the natural gas pipeline operators for extortion purposes.
Another scenario sees nation-state actors targeting critical infrastructure, in this case, EDI services are a mine of information for hackers that could use them to launch further attacks.
In October 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have issued a warning that APT groups are actively targeting government departments, and firms working in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors.
“This isn’t the first time U.S. pipelines have been targeted. In 2012, a federal cyber response team said in a note that it had identified a number of “cyber intrusions” targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies.” concluded Bloomberg.
“The group, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, is a division of Homeland Security.”
Severe Vulnerabilities Expose MicroLogix PLCs to Attacks
30.3.2018 securityweek ICS
Rockwell Automation has released patches and mitigations for several potentially serious vulnerabilities discovered by Cisco Talos researchers in its Allen-Bradley MicroLogix 1400 programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
According to Cisco Talos, the vulnerabilities can be exploited for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, modifying a device’s configuration and ladder logic, and writing or removing data on its memory module.
Since these controllers are typically used in industrial environments, including in critical infrastructure organizations, exploitation of the flaws could result in significant damage, Talos said.Vulnerabilities found in MicroLogix controllers
The most serious of the flaws, based on their CVSS score of 10, are a series of access control issues that have been assigned a dozen CVE identifiers. A remote and unauthenticated attacker can exploit these vulnerabilities to obtain sensitive information, modify a device’s settings, or change its ladder logic – all by sending specially crafted packets.
While exploiting many of these flaws requires that the controller’s keyswitch is in REMOTE or PROG position, reading the master password and the master ladder logic works regardless of the keyswitch setting.
Another potentially serious flaw is CVE-2017-12088, which allows a remote attacker to cause the controller to enter a fault state and potentially delete ladder logic by sending specially crafted packets to the Ethernet port.
DoS vulnerabilities also exist in the device’s program download and firmware update functionality, but these have been assigned only a “medium severity” rating.
Other issues considered less serious include a file-write vulnerability affecting a memory module, and a DoS flaw related to the session connection functionality.
While a CVE identifier has been assigned to the session communication bug, Rockwell says the system actually works as intended and no patches or mitigations are required.
Rockwell Automation has released firmware updates that address some of these flaws. The company has also proposed a series of mitigations that include migrating to more recent series of the MicroLogix 1400 controller, setting the keyswitch to “Hard Run” to prevent unauthorized changes to the device, and disabling impacted services.
Cisco has published technical details and proof-of-concept (PoC) code for each of the vulnerabilities. Rockwell Automation has also released an advisory, but it can only be accessed by registered users.
This is not the first time Cisco Talos researchers have found vulnerabilities in MicroLogix 1400 PLCs. In 2016, they reported discovering a weakness that could have been exploited to modify the firmware on these devices.
Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation Systems in H2 2017
27.3.2018 Kaspersky Analysis ICS
For many years, Kaspersky Lab experts have been uncovering and researching cyberthreats that target a variety of information systems – those of commercial and government organizations, banks, telecoms operators, industrial enterprises, and individual users. In this report, Kaspersky Lab Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT) publishes the findings of its research on the threat landscape for industrial automation systems conducted during the second half of 2017.
The main objective of these publications is to provide information support to global and local incident response teams, enterprise information security staff and researchers in the area of industrial facility security.
Overview of ICS vulnerabilities identified in 2017
The analysis of vulnerabilities was performed based on vendor advisories, publicly available information from open vulnerability databases (ICS-CERT, CVE, Siemens Product CERT), as well as the results of Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT’s own research. Vulnerability data published on the ICS-CERT website in 2017 was used to create statistical diagrams.
Vulnerabilities in various ICS components
Number of vulnerabilities identified
In 2017, the total number of vulnerabilities identified in different ICS components and published on the ICS-CERT website was 322. This includes vulnerabilities identified in general-purpose software and in network protocols that are also relevant to industrial software and equipment. These vulnerabilities are discussed in this report separately.
Analysis by Industry
The largest number of vulnerabilities affect industrial control systems in the energy sector (178), manufacturing processes at various enterprises (164), water supply (97) and transportation (74).
Number of vulnerable products used in different industries
(according to ICS-CERT classification)
vulnerabilities published in 2017
Severity levels of the vulnerabilities identified
More than half (194) of the vulnerabilities identified in ICS systems were assigned CVSS v.3.0 base scores of 7 or higher, corresponding to a high or critical level of risk.
Table 1 – Distribution of published vulnerabilities by risk level
9 to 10 (critical) 7 to 8.9 (high) 4 to 6.9 (medium) 0 to 3.9 (low)
Number of vulnerabilities 60 134 127 1
The highest severity score of 10 was assigned to vulnerabilities identified in the following products:
iniNet Solutions GmbH SCADA Webserver,
Westermo MRD-305-DIN, MRD-315, MRD-355, and MRD-455,
Sierra Wireless AirLink Raven XE and XT,
Schneider Electric Modicon M221 PLCs and SoMachine Basic,
BINOM3 Electric Power Quality Meter,
Carlo Gavazzi VMU-C EM and VMU-C PV.
All vulnerabilities that were assigned the severity rating of 10 have much in common: they have to do with authentication issues, can be exploited remotely and are easy to exploit.
In addition, the highest severity rating was assigned to a vulnerability in the Modicon Modbus Protocol, which is discussed below.
It should be noted that the CVSS base score does not account for the aspects of security that are specific to industrial automation systems or for the distinctive characteristics of each organization’s industrial processes. This is why, when assessing the severity of a vulnerability, we recommend keeping in mind, in addition to the CVSS score, the possible consequences of its exploitation, such as the non-availability or limited availability of ICS functionality that affects the continuity of the industrial process.
Types of vulnerabilities identified
The most common types of vulnerabilities include buffer overflow (Stack-Based Buffer Overflow, Heap-Based Buffer Overflow) and improper authentication (Improper Authentication).
At the same time, 23% of all vulnerabilities identified are web-related (Injection, Path Traversal, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Cross-Site Scripting) and 21% are associated with authentication issues (Improper Authentication, Authentication Bypass, Missing Authentication for Critical Function) and with access control problems (Access Control, Incorrect Default Permissions, Improper Privilege Management, Credentials Management).
Most common vulnerability types
Exploitation of vulnerabilities in various ICS components by attackers can lead to arbitrary code execution, unauthorized control of industrial equipment and that equipment’s denial of service (DoS). Importantly, most vulnerabilities (265) can be exploited remotely without authentication and exploiting them does not require the attacker to have any specialized knowledge or superior skills.
Exploits have been published for 17 vulnerabilities, increasing the risk of their exploitation for malicious purposes.
Vulnerable ICS components
The largest number of vulnerabilities were identified in:
SCADA/HMI components (88),
networking devices designed for industrial environments (66),
and engineering software (52).
Vulnerable components also include protection relays, emergency shutdown systems, environmental monitoring systems and industrial video surveillance systems.
Distribution of vulnerabilities identified by ICS components
Vulnerabilities in industrial protocols
An important part of ICS software security research in 2017 was identifying serious vulnerabilities in implementations of industrial protocols. Specifically, vulnerabilities were identified in the implementation of the Modbus Protocol in Modicon series controllers (that vulnerability was assigned a CVSS v. 3 base score of 10), as well as in implementations of the OPC UA protocol stack and in an implementation of the PROFINET Discovery and Configuration Protocol. The security issues identified affect entire product families.
Impact of vulnerabilities in ‘traditional’ technologies on industrial systems
In addition to ICS-specific vulnerabilities, a number of serious flaws were identified in H2 2017 in software platforms and network protocols that can be exploited to attack industrial systems.
The vulnerabilities in the WPA2 protocol unexpectedly turned out to be relevant to industrial solutions. They were found to affect equipment from several vendors, including Cisco, Rockwell Automation, Sierra Wireless, ABB and Siemens. Industrial control systems were also affected by multiple vulnerabilities in the Dnsmasq DNS server, Java Runtime Environment, Oracle Java SE, and Cisco IOS and IOS XE.
Vulnerabilities in Intel products can also affect the security of industrial equipment. In the second half of 2017, information on several vulnerabilities in Intel products (ME, SPS and TXE) was published. These vulnerabilities affect mainly SCADA server hardware and industrial computers that use vulnerable CPUs. These include, for example, Automation PC 910 by B&R, Nuvo-5000 by Neousys and the GE Automation RXi2-XP product line. As a rule, vendors do not consider it necessary to release public advisories on vulnerabilities of this type (derived from using third-party technologies). Of course, there are some positive exceptions. For example, Siemens AG has released an advisory stating that these vulnerabilities affect a range of the company’s products. Earlier, the company published information about similar vulnerabilities in Intel technologies affecting its products.
IoT device vulnerabilities
2017 was marked by a growing number of vulnerabilities being identified in internet of things (IoT) devices. As a consequence, such vulnerabilities were increasingly often exploited to create botnets. The activity of three new botnets was uncovered in the last two months of 2017 only. These included the Reaper botnet and new Mirai variants, including the Satori botnet.
Multiple vulnerabilities were identified in Dlink 850L routers, WIFICAM wireless IP cameras, Vacron network video recorders and other devices.
On top of the new IoT device flaws, some old vulnerabilities are still not closed, such as CVE-2014-8361 in Realtek devices and the vulnerability dating back to 2012 that can be exploited to get the configuration of Serial-to-Ethernet converters, including the Telnet password, by sending a request on port 30718. The vulnerability in Serial-to-Ethernet converters directly affects the industrial internet of things (IIoT), since many systems that enable the operators of industrial equipment to remotely control its status, modify its settings and control its operation are based on serial interface converters.
The security of IoT devices is also affected by issues relating to the security of traditional information technology. Specifically, vulnerabilities in implementations of the Bluetooth protocol led to the emergence of the new attack vector, BlueBorne, which poses a threat to mobile, desktop and IoT operating systems.
Vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT
In 2017, Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT experts not only analyzed the security issues associated with different vendors’ ICS components, but also focused on the common ICS components, platforms and technologies used in different vendors’ solutions. This type of research is important because vulnerabilities in such components significantly increase the number of potential attack victims. Research in this area continues in 2018.
Number of vulnerabilities identified
Based on its research, Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT identified 63 vulnerabilities in industrial and IIoT/IoT systems in 2017.
Distribution of vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT in 2017
by types of components analyzed
Every time we identified a vulnerability, we promptly notified the respective product’s vendor.
Number of CVE entries published
During 2017, 11 CVE entries were published based on information about vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT. It should be noted that some of these CVE entries were published after vendors closed vulnerabilities information on which had been provided to them in 2016.
Information on other vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT experts will be published after these vulnerabilities are closed by the respective vendors.
Capabilities provided by the vulnerabilities identified
The largest number of vulnerabilities identified (29) could allow an attacker to cause denial of service (DoS) remotely. 8% of the vulnerabilities identified could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code remotely on the target system.
Distribution of vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT in 2017
by capabilities provided
Vulnerabilities in ICS components
In 2017, Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT experts identified 30 vulnerabilities in ICS products from different vendors. These are mainly large automation system vendors, such as Schneider Electric, Siemens, Rockwell Automation, Emerson, and others.
Severity ratings of the vulnerabilities identified
To assess the severity of vulnerabilities identified in ICS components, Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT used its own vulnerability rating system based on the metrics defined in CVSS v3.0 (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) standard, with the following vulnerability severity levels identified:
least severe: CVSS v3.0 base score of 5.0 or less,
medium severity: CVSS v3.0 base score of 5.1 to 6.9 (inclusive),
most severe: CVSS v3.0 base score of 7.0 or more.
The absolute majority of vulnerabilities identified are in the most severe group. These include the XXE vulnerability in industrial solutions that use the Discovery Service of the OPC UA protocol stack.
Vulnerabilities in OPC UA implementations
One of the research areas involved searching for vulnerabilities in different implementations of the OPC UA technology. This type of research is needed to improve the overall security level of products from different vendors that use the technology in their solutions. Vulnerabilities in such technologies are a Swiss army knife of sorts for attackers, enabling them to hack industrial systems from different vendors.
A total of 17 critical denial-of-service vulnerabilities were identified during the period.
Some of the vulnerabilities were identified in sample software implementations of various OPC UA functions available in the official Github repository. In the process of communicating to several vendors of industrial automation systems, we found out that many of them had used code from such samples in their product code. This means that the vulnerabilities identified may affect complete product lines from different vendors.
Vulnerabilities in third-party hardware-based and software solutions
Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT experts have also analyzed third-party hardware-based solutions that are widely used in industrial automation systems.
Specifically, experts analyzed the SafeNet Sentinel hardware-based solution by Gemalto. As a result of the research, 15 vulnerabilities were identified in the software part of the solution (11 in December 2016 and 4 in 2017). These flaws affect a large number of products that use the vulnerable software, including solutions by ABB, General Electric, HP, Cadac Group, Zemax and other software developers, the number of which may reach 40 thousand, according to some estimates.
Vulnerabilities in internet of things (IoT and IIoT) components
Another area of research was the assessment of the information security status of internet of things (IoT), components, including industrial internet of things (IIoT) components.
Kaspersky Lab experts are working with vendors to improve the security of their solutions with respect to 11 vulnerabilities identified. Vulnerabilities were found in the following components and solutions:
hardware-based IIoT solutions.
It should be noted that vulnerabilities in implementations of OPC UA standards, which are discussed above, also directly affect IIoT security.
Vulnerabilities in industrial routers
In the past year, 18 vulnerabilities were identified in industrial networking equipment from different vendors. Typical vulnerabilities: information disclosure, privilege escalation, arbitrary code execution, denial of service.
Working with software vendors
With respect to information on the vulnerabilities identified, Kaspersky Lab follows the principle of responsible information disclosure, promptly reporting vulnerabilities to the respective software vendors.
In 2017, Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT researchers actively collaborated with various companies to ensure that the vulnerabilities identified would be closed.
Of the 63 vulnerabilities identified by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT in 2017, vendors closed 26. Vulnerabilities were closed by Siemens, General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Gemalto and the OPC Foundation industrial consortium.
It should be noted that most vendors of software for industrial automation systems that we have worked with have lately been devoting much more care and resources to the task of closing the vulnerabilities identified and fixing information security issues in their products, including their earlier versions.
At the same time, the issue of closing vulnerabilities in industrial automation systems remains relevant. In many cases, it takes large vendors a long time to close vulnerabilities in their products. Sometimes software vendors decide to patch only new versions of a vulnerable product, which they are planning to release in the future.
In addition, some vendors still need to improve the organizational and technical aspects of the procedures they use to inform customers about the vulnerabilities patched. Even after an update has been released, many users are unaware of the relevant security issue and use vulnerable versions of the product. This is particularly important for embedded software, as well as the technologies and specific program modules used by numerous third-party vendors (one example can be found here).
Positive examples include Siemens and the OPC Foundation, which have quickly closed the vulnerabilities identified and released public advisories on existing vulnerabilities.
Malware in industrial automation systems
In the second half of 2017, Kaspersky Lab security solutions installed on industrial automation systems detected over 17.9 thousand different malware modifications from about 2.4 thousand different malware families.
In the vast majority of cases, attempts to infect ICS computers are accidental and are not part of targeted attacks. Consequently, the functionality implemented in malware is not specific to attacks on industrial automation systems. However, even without ICS-specific functionality, a malware infection can have dire consequences for an industrial automation system, including an emergency shutdown of the industrial process. This was demonstrated by the WannaCry outbreak in May 2017, when several enterprises in different industries had to suspend their industrial processes after being infected with the encryption malware. We wrote about encryption malware-related threats in our previous report and several articles (see here and here).
Unexpected consequences of the WannaCry outrbreak
It is important to note that some IT threats can do much more significant harm in an industrial network than in an office network. To demonstrate this, we look at two incidents investigated by the Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT team.
In H2 2017, we were approached by several industrial enterprises at once, where mass infections of industrial networks with WannaCry encryption malware had been detected. It was later determined that the initial infections of office networks at the victim companies had in all the cases taken place back in the first half of 2017, at the height of the WannaCry outbreak. However, the infections were not noticed until the malware propagated to the enterprises’ industrial networks. As it turned out during investigation, encryption functionality in the malware samples was damaged and the infected systems on corporate networks continued to operate normally, without any failures. However, the infection of industrial networks in these cases had unexpected negative consequences.
At one of the enterprises infected by WannaCry, the workstations used by operators started to bring up the Blue Screen of Death all the time, leading to emergency reboots. The reason for this unexpected consequence of infection was that the machines ran Windows XP. It is a well-known fact that the DoublePulsar exploit used by WannaCry to propagate causes WindowsXP to crash, resulting in a Blue Screen of Death and a reboot. In cases when numerous machines in the industrial segment of an organization’s network are infected, WindowsXP machines are often attacked and go into emergency reboots. As a result, operators are rendered incapable of monitoring and controlling the industrial process. This makes WannaCry a denial-of-service attack tool of sorts.
In another incident, the propagation of WannaCry caused some of the devices on an enterprise’s industrial network to become temporarily unavailable during periods when the network activity of the malware coincided with certain stages in the industrial process. This resulted in emergency interruptions of an industrial process that was critical for the enterprise for an average of 15 minutes.
Cryptocurrency miners in industrial network infrastructure
According to Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT data, cryptocurrency mining programs attacked 3.3% of industrial automation system computers during the period from February 2017 to January 2018.
Up to August 2017, the percentage of ICS computers attacked by cryptocurrency miners did not exceed 1%. This figure grew in September and did not go back to less than 1% for the rest of 2017. In October, cryptocurrency miner attacks against ICS computers peaked, with 2.07% of ICS computers being attacked.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked by cryptocurrency mining malware
Like other malware infecting systems at industrial enterprises, cryptocurrency miners can pose a threat to industrial process monitoring and control. In the process of its operation, malware of this type creates a significant load on the computer’s computational resources. An increased load on processors can negatively affect the operation of the enterprise’s ICS components and threaten their stability.
According to our assessments, in most cases cryptocurrency miners infect ICS computers accidentally. There is no reliable information on machines that are part of the industrial network infrastructure being infected as a result of targeted attacks the goal of which is to mine cryptocurrencies, with the exception of cases when miners are installed by unscrupulous employees of victim enterprises. The cryptocurrency mining malware typically enters the industrial network infrastructure from the internet or, less commonly, from removable media or network shares.
Sources of ICS computer infections with cryptocurrency miners
Percentage of systems attacked, February 2017 – January 2018
Cryptocurrency miners have infected numerous websites, including those of industrial companies. In such cases, cryptocurrencies are mined on the systems of users who visit infected web resources. This technique is called cryptojacking.
Screenshot showing a fragment of code found on a web resource infected with mining malware
Botnet agents in the industrial network infrastructure
In most cases, the functionality of botnet agents includes searching for and stealing financial information, stealing authentication data, brute forcing passwords, sending spam, as well as conducting attacks on specified remote internet resources, including denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. In addition, in cases where a botnet agent attacks third-party resources (such cases have been detected), the companies that own the IP addresses from which the attacks are launched may face certain reputational risks.
Although the destructive activity of botnet agents is not specifically designed to disrupt the operation of any industrial system, an infection with this type of malware may pose a significant threat to a facility that is part of the industrial infrastructure. Malware of this type can cause network failures, denial of service (DoS) of the infected system and other devices on the network. It is also common for malware to contain errors in its code and/or be incompatible with software used to control the industrial infrastructure, potentially resulting in the disruption of industrial process monitoring and control.
Another danger associated with botnet agents is that malware of this type often includes data collection functionality and, like backdoor malware, enables the attackers to control the infected machine surreptitiously. System data collected by bots by default is sufficient for accurately identifying the company that owns the system and the type of the infected system. What’s more, access to machines infected with botnet agents is often put up for sale at specialized exchanges on the Darknet. Consequently, threat actors interested in infected industrial control systems can gain access to a victim company’s sensitive data and/or systems used to control the industrial infrastructure.
In 2017, 10.8% of all ICS systems were attacked by botnet agents. Moreover, botnet agent attack statistics show that 2% of ICS systems were attacked by several malicious programs of this type at once.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked by botnet agents in 2017
The main sources of botnet agent attacks on ICS systems in 2017 were the internet, removable media and email messages.
Sources of ICS infection with botnet agents, percentage of ICS computers attacked, 2017
This once again demonstrates the need for access control to ensure that information is exchanged securely between an enterprise’s industrial network and other networks, as well as the need to block unauthorized removable media from connecting to ICS systems and to install tools designed to detect and filter malicious objects from email messages.
Top 5 botnet agent most commonly found on ICS systems in 2017,
percentage of ICS computers attacked
Nearly two percent of all systems analyzed were attacked with Virus.Win32.Sality malware. In addition to infecting other executable files, this malware includes the functionality of resisting antivirus solutions and downloading additional malicious modules from the command-and-control server. The most widespread Sality modules are components for sending spam, stealing authentication data stored on the system and downloading and installing other malware.
The Dinihou botnet agent, which attacked 0.9% of ICS systems analyzed, is in second position. The malware includes functionality that enables the attackers to upload an arbitrary file from an infected system, creating the threat of sensitive data leaks for victim organizations. In addition, both Worm.VBS.Dinihou and Virus.Win32.Nimnul, which is in third place with 0.88%, can be used to download and install other malware on infected systems.
Most modifications of Trojan.Win32.Waldek are distributed via removable media and include functionality to collect information on infected systems and send it to the attackers. Based on the system data collected, the attackers create packages of additional malware to be installed on the infected system using the relevant Waldek functionality.
The fifth position is taken up by Backdoor.Win32.Androm, which ranked highest based on the number of attacks on ICS systems in H2 2016. The malware provides the attackers with a variety of information on the infected system and enables them to download and install modules for performing destructive activities, such as stealing sensitive data.
2017 saw the publication of information on two targeted attacks on systems that are part of the industrial infrastructure – Industroyer and Trisis/Triton. In these attacks, for the first time since Stuxnet, threat actors created their own implementations of industrial network protocols, gaining the ability to communicate with devices directly.
In December 2017, researchers reported discovering previously unknown malware that targeted critical infrastructure systems. The discovery was made as a result of investigating an incident at an unnamed industrial enterprise. The malicious program was dubbed Triton or Trisis.
The malware is a modular framework that can automatically find Triconex Safety Controllers on the enterprise network, get information on their operating modes and plant malicious code on these devices. Trisis/Triton embeds a backdoor in the device’s firmware, enabling the attackers to remotely read and modify not only the code of the legitimate control program, but also the code of the compromised Triconex device’s firmware. With such capabilities, attackers can do serious damage to the enterprise’s industrial process. The least harmful of possible negative consequences is the system’s emergency shutdown and interruption of the industrial process. It was this type of event that caused a victim organization to launch an investigation, which resulted in the attack being detected.
It remains unknown how the attackers penetrated the enterprise’s infrastructure. What is known is that they must have been inside the compromised organization’s network for a sufficiently long time (several months) and used legitimate software and ‘dual-use’ utilities for lateral movement and privilege escalation.
Although the attack was designed to modify code on Triconex devices, the code that the attackers were apparently trying to inject in the last stage of the attack has never been found, so it is currently impossible to determine the final objective of the attack.
Spear phishing — Formbook spyware
Spear phishing attacks on industrial organizations continued in the second half of 2017. We have already written about spear phishing used by threat actors in Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. Compared to attacks described earlier, the attackers’ tactics have not changed significantly. However, in addition to known Trojan-Spy malware sent in phishing emails to global industrial and energy companies (FareIT, HawkEye, ISRStealer, etc.), a new representative of this malware class – Formbook – gained popularity in the second half of 2017.
Formbook attacks involve sending phishing emails with malicious Microsoft Office documents attached. To download and install malware on target systems, these documents exploit the CVE-2017-8759 vulnerability or use macros. Some phishing emails include attached archives of different formats containing the malicious program’s executable file. Examples of attached file names:
RFQ for Material Equipment for Aweer Power Station H Phase IV.exe
Scanned DOCUMENTS & Bank Details For Confirmation.jpeg (Pages 1- 4) -16012018. jpeg.ace
PO & PI Scan.png.gz
Sample phishing email used to distribute Formbook
In terms of implementation and the techniques used to obfuscate the code and encrypt the payload, Formbook differs from its ‘peers’ in that its functionality is more extensive. In addition to standard spyware features, such as making screenshots, capturing keypresses and stealing passwords stored in browsers, Formbook can steal sensitive data from HTTP/HTTPS/SPDY/HTTP2 traffic and web forms. Additionally, the malware implements remote system control functionality and uses an unusual technique to resist the analysis of network traffic. The Trojan generates a set of URLs to which it is going to connect, using a list of legitimate domains stored in its body. It then adds one URL for its command-and-control server. In this way, the malware attempts to mask its connections to the malicious domain by sending numerous requests to legitimate resources, making its detection and analysis more difficult.
All statistical data used in this report was collected using the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), a distributed antivirus network. The data was received from those KSN users who gave their consent to have data anonymously transferred from their computers. We do not identify the specific companies/organizations sending statistics to KSN, due to the product limitations and regulatory restrictions.
The data was received from ICS computers protected by Kaspersky Lab products that Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT categorizes as part of the industrial infrastructure at organizations. This group includes Windows computers that perform one or several of the following functions:
supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) servers,
data storage servers (Historian),
data gateways (OPC),
stationary workstations of engineers and operators,
mobile workstations of engineers and operators,
Human Machine Interface (HMI).
The statistics analyzed also include data received from computers of industrial control network administrators and software developers who develop software for industrial automation systems.
For the purposes of this report, attacked computers are those on which our security solutions have been triggered at least once during the reporting period. When determining percentages of machines attacked, we use the ratio of unique computers attacked to all computers in our sample from which we received anonymized information during the reporting period.
ICS servers and stationary workstations of engineers and operators often do not have full-time direct internet access due to restrictions specific to industrial networks. Internet access may be provided to such computers, for example, during maintenance periods.
Workstations of system/network administrators, engineers, developers and integrators of industrial automation systems may have frequent or even full-time internet connections.
As a result, in our sample of computers categorized by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT as part of the industrial infrastructure of organizations, about 40% of all machines have regular or full-time internet connections. The remaining machines connect to the Internet no more than once a month, many less frequently than that.
Percentage of computers attacked
In the second half of 2017, Kaspersky Lab products blocked attempted infections on 37.8% of ICS computers protected by them, which is 0.2 percentage points more than in the first half of 2017 and 1.4 percentage points less than in the second half of 2016.
June – August 2017 saw a decline in the number of attacked computers. However, in September there was a notable increase in cybercriminal activity, with the proportion of attacked machines rising to 20% and not falling below that level again for the rest of the year.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked globally by month, 2017
When comparing these values with the same period in 2016, we see that the July numbers are practically identical. However, for all other months the percentage of attacked machines in 2016 was higher than in 2017.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked globally by month, H2 2017 vs H2 2016
A certain decrease in the percentage of computers attacked can be attributed to several factors. It is likely that one has to do with industrial enterprises paying more attention to the security of industrial segments on their networks. According to our experts’ assessments, changes for the better may be largely due to simple measures: enterprises have begun to conduct audits of the industrial segments of their networks, train employees in the principles of cyber-hygiene, more properly differentiate access rights between the corporate and the industrial segments of their network, etc.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked in different industries
According to our assessment, medium-size and large companies with mature IT security processes tend to use Kaspersky Lab corporate solutions (mainly Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity and Kaspersky Endpoint Security) to safeguard their ICS infrastructure. Many smaller organizations and individual engineers, along with companies whose IT and OT cybersecurity still leaves much to be desired, may rely on Kaspersky Lab consumer solutions to protect their ICS computers. The percentage of such computers attacked by malware during the reporting period is significantly higher compared to the corresponding figures for computers protected by corporate products.
We intentionally excluded statistics coming from our consumer solutions when analyzing attacks on industrial facilities in different industries, using only telemetry data coming from Kaspersky Lab products for corporate users. This resulted in lower average attacked computers percentage values than for the rest of the analysis results presented in this report, where both Kaspersky Lab corporate and consumer product statistics were used.
Percentage of ICS computers attacked in different industries*, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
*In this report, unlike our previous reports, we calculated the percentage of attacked ICS computers for each industry (the percentage of ICS computers attacked in an industry to all ICS computers in that industry).
In previous reports, we included the distribution of attacked ICS computers by industry (the percentage of computers attacked in a given industry to all attacked computers in our sample).
According to statistics on attacks against facilities in different industries, nearly all industries demonstrate similar percentages of attacked ICS computers, which are in the range from 26 to 30 percent. We believe this may be due to the similarity of ICS architectures used to automate industrial processes at enterprises in various industries and, possibly, similarities in the processes used by enterprises to exchange information with external entities and inside the enterprises themselves.
Two industries were attacked more than others during the reporting period: the figures for Energy (38.7%) and Engineering & ICS Integrators (35.3%) are above 35%.
We believe that the high percentage of attacked ICS systems in the energy sector may be explained, on the one hand, by the greater network connectivity of electric power sector facilities (compared to facilities in other industries) and, on the other hand, perhaps by the fact that, on average, more people have access to the industrial control systems of energy sector facilities that to those at enterprises in other industries.
The supply chain attack vector has infamously been used in some devastating attacks in recent years, which is why the high percentage of attacked ICS computers in Engineering and ICS Integration businesses is a problem that is serious enough to be noticed.
The only industry whose figures showed a significant growth in the six months (+ 5.2 p.p.) is Construction (31.1%). The reason for the high percentage of ICS computers attacked in construction organizations could be that, for enterprises in the industry, industrial control systems often perform auxiliary functions, were introduced a relatively short time ago and are consequently at the periphery of company owners’ and managers’ attention. The upshot of this may be that objectives associated with protecting these systems from cyberthreats are regarded as having a relatively low priority. Whatever the reason for the high percentage of attacks reaching industrial control systems in construction and engineering, the fact seems sufficiently alarming. Construction is known to be a highly competitive business and cyberattacks on industrial organizations in this industry can be used as a means of unfair competition. So far, cyberattacks have been used in the construction industry mainly for purposes associated with the theft of commercial secrets. Infecting industrial control systems may provide threat actors with a new weapon in their fight against competitors.
The three least attacked industries are Mining (23.5%), Logistic & Transportation (19.8%) and ICS Software Development (14.7%).
ICS vendor infections might be very dangerous, because the consequences of an attack, spread over the infected vendor’s partner ecosystem and customer base, could be dramatic, as we saw in the recent wide-scale incidents, such as the exPetr malware epidemic.
This report includes information on ICS computers at educational facilities. These figures include not only ICS systems used in demonstration stands and labs performing instructional and research functions, but also in industrial automation systems of various facilities that are part of the infrastructure of educational establishments, such as power supply systems (including power generation and distribution), utilities, etc., as well as ICS used in pilot production facilities.
The figure for educational establishments can be regarded as representing the “background level” of accidental threats affecting ICS systems, considering systems at educational establishments to be as insecure as such systems can get. This is because ICS systems at educational establishments are usually connected to the respective organizations’ general-purpose networks and are less isolated from the outside world than the systems of industrial facilities.
At the same time, we believe that attacks on ICS systems at educational establishments can also pose a significant threat to enterprises in different real-sector industries – primarily because universities/colleges maintain working contacts and engage in collaboration with industrial enterprises. This includes joint research labs, engineering and development centers, personnel training and career development centers, etc.
In addition, such ICS systems can be used by attackers to test and debug malicious code and refine attacks against real-sector enterprises.
Education demonstrates the greatest difference between the H1 and H2 percentages of ICS systems attacked. The high figure for H1 was due to the large number of internet-borne attacks, as well as attacks by malware belonging to the Trojan.Multi.Powercod family. That malware uses techniques that are similar to those described by our colleagues here. In H1 2017, 9.8% of ICS computers in educational establishments from our sample were attacked by Powercod Trojans. In H2, the corresponding figure was 0.7%.
Main sources of threats blocked on ICS computers,
percentage of ICS computers attacked, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
In the second half of 2017, most of the numbers for the main infection sources remained at H1 2017 levels.
For computers that are part of the industrial infrastructure, the internet remains the main source of infection. Contributing factors include interfaces between corporate and industrial networks, availability of limited internet access from industrial networks, and connection of computers on industrial networks to the internet via mobile phone operator networks (using mobile phones, USB modems and/or Wi-Fi routers with 3G/LTE support). Contractors, developers, integrators and system/network administrators that connect to the control network externally (directly or remotely) often have unrestricted internet access. Their computers are in the highest-risk group and can be used by malware as a channel for penetrating the industrial networks of the enterprises they serve. As we mentioned above, about 40% of computers in our sample connect to the internet on a regular basis. It should be noted that, in addition to malicious and infected websites, the “Internet” category includes phishing emails and malicious attachments opened in web-based email services (in browsers).
Experts from Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT note that malicious programs and scripts built into email message bodies are often used in targeted attacks on industrial enterprises. In most cases, the attackers distribute emails with malicious attachments in office document formats, such as Microsoft Office and PDF, as well as archives containing malicious executable files.
There has also been a 1.7 p.p. decrease in the proportion of threats detected while scanning removable media. This is an important indicator, because such devices are often used to transfer information in industrial networks.
The other figures did not change appreciably.
Classes of malware
These Trojans most often tried to download and execute the following malware as main modules:
spyware Trojans (Trojan-Spy and Trojan-PSW)
remote administration tools installed without authorization (RAT)
Wiper type programs (KillDisk) designed to delete (wipe) data on the hard drive and render the computer unusable
Malware infections of computers on an industrial network can result in the loss of control or the disruption of industrial processes.
Platforms used by malware
Platforms used by malware, percentage of ICS computers attacked, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
In the latest versions of such emails, the attackers used a fax-received notification template.
It is important to note that threat actors often attack legitimate websites in order to host malware components on these sites. Threat actors do this to hide malicious traffic behind legitimate domains to mask the traces of an attack.
Geographical distribution of attacks on industrial automation systems
The map below shows the percentages of industrial automation systems attacked to the total number of such systems in each country.
Geographical distribution of attacks on industrial automation systems, H2 2017
Percentage of attacked ICS computers in each country
TOP 15 countries by percentage of ICS computers attacked:
Country* % of systems attacked
1 Vietnam 69.6
2 Algeria 66.2
3 Morocco 60.4
4 Indonesia 60.1
5 China 59.5
6 Egypt 57.6
7 Peru 55.2
8 Iran 53.0
9 India 52.4
10 Kazakhstan 50.1
11 Saudi Arabia 48.4
12 Mexico 47.5
13 Russia 46.8
14 Malaysia 46.7
15 Turkey 44.1
*Countries in which the number of ICS computers monitored by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT was insufficient to obtain representative data sets were excluded from the ranking.
The Top 5 has remained unchanged since H1 2017.
The least affected countries in this ranking are Israel (8.6%), Denmark (13.6%), the UK (14.5%), the Netherlands (14.5%), Sweden (14.8%) and Kuwait (15.3%).
Egypt has moved from ninth place to sixth – the percentage of attacked ICS machines in that country grew by 6.1 p.p. This is the most significant growth among all countries of the world. Internet threats accounted for most of the growth in the percentage of attacked ICS computers in Egypt. Among the internet threats detected, the most common were sites infected with script-based cryptocurrency miners and attempts to download malware by following URL links.
Main sources of threats blocked on ICS computers in Egypt
percentage of ICS computers attacked, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
Malware distributed via removable media is also a real problem for many ICS in Egypt. Malware loaders distributed on removable media are disguised as existing user files on the removable drive, increasing the chances of a successful attack.
Examples of names used for loaders of malware distributed via removable media that were blocked on ICS computers in Egypt in H2 2017
In most cases, the loaders that we detected were designed to launch the malware module responsible for infecting the system, including downloading the main module, infecting removable media and network shares and propagating via email/instant messengers to an existing list of contacts.
Malicious code for the AutoIt platform, launched by a malicious .lnk loader
blocked on an ICS computer in Egypt in H2 2017
In Russia during H2 2017, 46.8% of ICS computers were attacked at least once – a 3.8 p.p. rise on H1 2017. This saw Russia move up from 21st to 13th.
The proportions of attacked ICS machines vary greatly between different regions of the world.
Percentage of ICS systems attacked in regions of the world, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
All regions can be assigned to one of three groups according to the percentage of attacked ICS machines:
Proportion of attacked ICS systems below 30%. This group includes North America and Europe, where the situation looks the most peaceful. Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT specialists say this does not necessarily mean that industrial enterprises in these regions are less frequently attacked by cybercriminals; rather, it could be that more attention is paid to ensuring information security at industrial enterprises in these regions, which results in fewer attacks reaching their targets.
Proportion of attacked ICS systems between 30% and 50%. This group includes Latin America, Russia and the Middle East.
Proportion of attacked ICS systems above 50%. The situation is most acute in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
It should be noted that values may differ significantly between countries within the same region. This may be due to different practices and approaches to ICS information security in those countries.
In particular, the Asia-Pacific region includes Vietnam with the highest global proportion of attacked ICS systems (69.6%) alongside countries such as Japan (25%), Australia (24.1%) and Singapore (23.2%), where figures did not exceed 25%.
Percentage of attacked ICS computers in Asia-Pacific countries, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
In Europe, Denmark’s score (13.6%) was not only the lowest in the region but also one of the lowest globally, while the proportions of attacked ICS systems in Belarus (41%), Portugal (42.5%) and Ukraine (41.4%) were all above 40%.
Percentage of attacked ICS computers in Europe, H2 2017 vs H1 2017
Let’s now look at the sources of attacks that affected ICS systems in different regions.
Main sources of threats blocked on ICS computers in different regions, H2 2017
In all regions of the world, the internet remains the main source of attacks. However, in Europe and North America, the percentage of blocked web-borne attacks is substantially lower than elsewhere. This may be because most enterprises operating in those regions adhere to information security standards. In particular, internet access is restricted on systems that are part of industrial networks. The situation is similar for infected removable devices: the highest numbers are seen in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, while the lowest are in Europe and North America. These figures also reflect the level of compliance with information security standards and, in particular, whether restrictions are in place to prevent the connection of unauthorized removable media to industrial infrastructure systems.
Curiously, in spite of the sufficiently high overall percentage of attacks that reached ICS systems, the percentages of ICS computers attacked via removable media and email clients in Russia were relatively small – 4.4% and 1.4% respectively. One possible explanation is that risks associated with these attack vectors are largely mitigated through organizational measures, as well as removable media and email handling practices established at industrial enterprises. This interpretation is reassuring, since removable media and email are often used as penetration vectors in sophisticated targeted and APT attacks.
For countries of the Middle East, email was a significant (5%) source of infection, with the region leading the ranking based on this parameter.
To prevent accidental infections in industrial networks, we recommend taking a set of measures designed to secure the internal and external perimeters of these networks.
This includes, first and foremost, measures required to provide secure remote access to automation systems and secure transfer of data between the industrial network and other networks that have different trust levels:
Systems that have full-time or regular connections to external networks (mobile devices, VPN concentrators, terminal servers, etc.) should be isolated into a separate segment of the industrial network – the demilitarized zone (DMZ);
Systems in the demilitarized zone should be divided into subnets or virtual subnets (VLAN), with restricted access between subnets (only the communications that are required should be allowed);
All the necessary communication between the industrial network and the outside world (including the enterprise’s office network) should be performed via the DMZ;
If necessary, terminal servers that support reverse connection methods (from the industrial network to the DMZ) can be deployed in the DMZ;
Thin clients should be used whenever possible to access the industrial network from the outside (using reverse connection methods);
Access from the demilitarized zone to the industrial network should be blocked;
If the enterprise’s business processes are compatible with one-way communication, we recommend that you consider using data diodes.
The threat landscape for industrial automation systems is continually changing, with new vulnerabilities regularly found both in application software and in industrial software. Based on the threat evolution trends identified in H2 2017, we recommend placing special emphasis on the following security measures:
Regularly updating the operating systems, application software and security solutions on systems that are part of the enterprise’s industrial network;
Installing firmware updates on control devices used in industrial automation systems in a timely manner;
Restricting network traffic on ports and protocols used on the edge routers between the organization’s network and those of other companies (if information is transferred from one company’s industrial network to another company);
An emphasis on account control and password policies is recommended. Users should have only those privileges that are required for them to perform their responsibilities. The number of user accounts with administrative privileges should be as limited as possible. Strong passwords (at least 9 characters, both upper and lower case, combined with digits and special characters) should be used, with regular password changing enforced by the domain policy, for example, every 90 days.
To provide protection from accidental infections with new, previously unknown malware and targeted attacks, we recommend doing the following on a regular basis:
Taking an inventory of running network services on all hosts of the industrial network; where possible, stopping vulnerable network services (unless this will jeopardize the continuity of industrial processes) and other services that are not directly required for the operation of the automation system; special emphasis should be made on services that provide remote access to file system objects, such as SMB/CIFS and/or NFS (which is relevant in the case of attacks on systems running Linux).
Auditing ICS component access control; trying to achieve maximum access granularity.
Auditing the network activity in the enterprise’s industrial network and at its boundaries. Eliminate any network connections with external and other adjacent information networks that are not required by industrial processes.
Verifying the security of remote access to the industrial network; placing a special emphasis on whether demilitarized zones are set up in compliance with IT security requirements. To the fullest extent possible, minimizing or completely eliminating the use of remote administration tools (such as RDP or TeamViewer). More details on this are provided above.
Ensuring that signature databases, heuristics and decision algorithms of endpoint security solutions are up-to-date. Checking that all the main protection components are enabled and running and that ICS software folders, OS system folders or user profiles are not excluded from the scope of protection. Application startup control technologies configured in whitelisting mode and application behavior analysis technologies are particularly effective for industrial enterprises. Application startup control will prevent cryptomalware from running even if it finds its way on to the computer, while application behavior analysis technologies are helpful for detecting and blocking attempts to exploit vulnerabilities (including unknown) in legitimate software.
Auditing policies and practices related to using removable media and portable devices. Blocking devices that provide illegitimate access to external networks and the Internet from being connected to industrial network hosts. Wherever possible, disabling the relevant ports or controlling access to these ports using properly configured dedicated tools.
In addition, to provide protection from targeted attacks directed at the enterprise’s industrial network and its main industrial assets, we recommend deploying tools that provide network traffic monitoring and detection of cyberattacks on industrial networks. In most cases, such measures do not require any changes to ICS components or their configuration and can be carried out without suspending their operation.
Of course, completely isolating the industrial network from adjacent networks is virtually impossible, since transferring data between networks is required to perform a variety of important functions – controlling and maintaining remote facilities, coordinating sophisticated industrial processes, parts of which are distributed between numerous workshops, lines, plants and support systems. We hope, however, that our recommendations will help you provide maximum protection for your industrial networks and automation systems against existing and future threats.
Kaspersky Lab Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT) is a global project of Kaspersky Lab aimed at coordinating the work of industrial automation system vendors, owners and operators of industrial facilities and IT security researchers in addressing issues associated with protecting industrial enterprises and critical infrastructure facilities.
Energy Sector Most Impacted by ICS Flaws, Attacks: Study
26.3.2018 securityweek ICS
The energy sector was targeted by cyberattacks more than any other industry, and many of the vulnerabilities disclosed last year impacted products used in this sector, according to a report published on Monday by Kaspersky Lab.
The security firm has analyzed a total of 322 flaws disclosed in 2017 by ICS-CERT, vendors and its own researchers, including issues related to industrial control systems (ICS) and general-purpose software and protocols used by industrial organizations.
Of the total number of security holes, 178 impact control systems used in the energy sector. Critical manufacturing organizations – this includes manufacturers of primary metals, machinery, electrical equipment, and transportation equipment – were affected by 164 of these vulnerabilities.
Other industries hit by a significant number of vulnerabilities are water and wastewater (97), transportation (74), commercial facilities (65), and food and agriculture (61).
Many of the vulnerabilities disclosed last year impacted SCADA or HMI components (88), industrial networking devices (66), PLCs (52), and engineering software (52). However, vulnerabilities in general purpose software and protocols have also had an impact on industrial organizations, including the WPA flaws known as KRACK and bugs affecting Intel technology.
As for the types of vulnerabilities, nearly a quarter are web-related and 21 percent are authentication issues.
A majority of the flaws have been assigned severity ratings of medium or high, but 60 weaknesses are considered critical based on their CVSS score. Kaspersky pointed out that all vulnerabilities with a CVSS score of 10 are related to authentication and they are all easy to exploit remotely.
Kaspersky said 265 of the vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely without authentication and without any special knowledge or skills. It also noted that exploits are publicly available for 17 of the security holes.
The company has also shared data on malware infections and other security incidents. In the second half of 2017, Kaspersky security products installed on industrial automation systems detected nearly 18,000 malware variants from roughly 2,400 families. Malware attacks were blocked on almost 38 percent of ICS computers protected by the company, which was slightly less than in the second half of the previous year.
Again, the energy sector was the most impacted. According to the security firm, roughly 40 percent of the devices housed by energy organizations were targeted.
“In the vast majority of cases, attempts to infect ICS computers are accidental and are not part of targeted attacks,” Kaspersky said. “Consequently, the functionality implemented in malware is not specific to attacks on industrial automation systems. However, even without ICS-specific functionality, a malware infection can have dire consequences for an industrial automation system, including an emergency shutdown of the industrial process.”
One example was the WannaCry attack, which, according to Kaspersky, in some cases resulted in temporary disruptions to industrial processes.
Researchers noted that botnet agents can also pose a significant threat, including by stealing sensitive data and by causing disruptions to industrial processes as a side effect of coding errors and incompatibility. Kaspersky reported that last year more than 10 percent of the systems it monitored were targeted by botnet agents.
Five Threat Groups Target Industrial Systems: Dragos
1.3.2018 securityweek ICS
There are at least five sophisticated threat groups whose activities focus on industrial control systems (ICS), according to a report published on Thursday by industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos.
While it’s not uncommon for non-targeted malware to make its way onto industrial systems, targeted attacks have also become increasingly common. Dragos currently tracks five threat actors that have either attacked ICS directly or have shown an interest in gathering information on these types of systems.
One of these groups is tracked by the security firm as Electrum. This is the actor behind the CRASHOVERRIDE/Industroyer malware used in December 2016 to cause a power outage in Ukraine. Electrum has been linked to Sandworm Team, which is believed to be responsible for a 2015 power outage in Ukraine. Russia has been accused for both attacks.
While it apparently hasn’t launched any major attacks since the 2016 campaign targeting Ukraine’s energy sector, Dragos says Electrum continues to be active, and evidence suggests it has expanded targets.Five threat groups target ICS
“While past ELECTRUM activity has focused exclusively on Ukraine, information from low- level ongoing events and the group’s link to SANDWORM Dragos assesses that ELECTRUM could be ‘re-tasked’ to other areas depending on the focus of their sponsor,” Dragos said in its report.
Another gang tracked by Dragos is Covellite, which has been linked to North Korea’s Lazarus group. Researchers started observing Covellite in September 2017, when it launched a highly targeted phishing campaign against a U.S. electric grid company. They later spotted attacks that may have been conducted by this group aimed at organizations in Europe, North America and East Asia.
Unlike Electrum, Covellite has yet to use malware specifically designed to target industrial systems in its campaigns.
Dragos’ report also summarizes the activities of Dymalloy, a group whose attacks came to light during an investigation into Dragonfly, an actor that is also known as Crouching Yeti and Energetic Bear. Dragonfly, which is believed to be operating out of Russia, is known for its sophisticated Havex malware, and it was recently observed targeting control systems in U.S. energy firms.
Dragos believes Dymalloy is not linked – at least not directly – to Dragonfly and its tools are not as advanced as Havex. However, the hackers did manage to breach ICS organizations in Turkey, Europe and North America, gaining access to HMI devices.
Experts say Dymalloy appears to have become less active since early 2017, possibly in response to attention from the media and security researchers.
Since mid-2017, Dragos has been tracking a group it has named Chrysene, whose activity focuses on North America, Western Europe, Israel and Iraq, particularly organizations in the electricity generation and oil&gas sectors.
Chrysene, which continues to be active, has used a unique variation of a framework associated with the Iran-linked cyber espionage groups known as OilRig and Greenbug.
“While CHRYSENE’s malware features notable enhancements over related threat groups using similar tools, Dragos has not yet observed an ICS-specific capability employed by this activity group. Instead, all activity thus far appears to focus on IT penetration and espionage, with all targets being ICS-related organizations,” Dragos said.
It’s worth noting that the recently uncovered piece of malware known as Trisis/Triton, which is the first threat specifically designed to disrupt safety instrumented systems (SIS), has also been linked by some researchers to Iran.
The last ICS-focused threat group monitored by Dragos is Magnallium, which has also been linked to Iran. The security firm started tracking this actor following a report from FireEye on the activities of APT33.
While some media reports portrayed APT33 as a serious threat to ICS and critical infrastructure, Dragos’ investigation showed that the group does not appear to possess any ICS-specific capabilities.
“While only one [of these groups] has demonstrated an apparent capability to impact ICS networks through ICS-specific malware directly, all have engaged in at least reconnaissance and intelligence gathering surrounding the ICS environment,” Dragos said.
“These groups have remained relatively constant regarding overall activity throughout the year, and Dragos is confident that additional unknown events have occurred,” the company added.
Public Advisories Fail to Convey True Impact of ICS Flaws
1.3.2018 securityweek ICS
Public advisories describing vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (ICS) often fail to convey the true impact of the flaws, according to a report published today by ICS cybersecurity firm Dragos.
An analysis of 163 advisories published last year by ICS-CERT and others – excluding reports on medical device flaws, which ICS-CERT regularly covers – allowed Dragos to compile some useful statistics.
The company determined that patches for nearly two-thirds of the security holes disclosed last year don’t fully eliminate the risk due to the fact that the affected systems had been insecure by design.
Another interesting point made by Dragos in its report is that 85% of the vulnerabilities can be exploited late in the kill chain and they are not useful for getting an initial foothold in the targeted organization’s network. This means that an attacker who manages to exploit the flaws has had access to the target’s network for some time.
Once exploited, one-third of the vulnerabilities lead to what Dragos describes as “loss of view,” which results in the victim not being able to monitor or read the state of the compromised system.
In 29% of cases, exploitation of the bugs leads to “loss of control,” preventing any modifications to the state of the system. In roughly the same percentage of cases, exploitation of a flaw leads to both loss of control and loss of view.
“Vulnerabilities which lead to both a loss of view and control occur in the core of traditional control networks affecting both field devices (PLCs, RTUs, etc.) as well as management such as human-machine interface (HMI) systems and engineering workstation (EWS) software,” Dragos explained in its report. “This means that a large percentage (61%) of ICS-related vulnerabilities will cause severe operational impact if exploited.”
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Many of the flaws covered by the advisories analyzed by Dragos affect products that are further away from the perimeter of the operational technology (OT) network, which makes them less likely to be exploited.
However, 15% of advisories describe vulnerabilities in components located very close to the network perimeter. Systems such as historians, OPC servers, firewalls, VPN products, and cellular gateways are often directly accessible from the business network and even from the Internet, which makes them more likely to be attacked.
Nearly one-quarter of the weaknesses impact field devices, while 31% affect HMIs.
“Most of the control system vulnerability patching focus should be placed on the 30% of vulnerabilities which impact exterior-facing systems,” Dragos said. “Since so many assets and interior control elements are nowhere near a network border, applying patches in the 85% of interior and none-to-medium proximity cases would likely have little to no reduction in risk for impact against attack.”
Dragos also busted a common myth claiming that most ICS vulnerabilities are found in demo or free software rather than actual control systems. However, the company found that 63% of all ICS-related flaws disclosed last year impacted software or hardware that could not have been obtained for free.
The security firm’s analysis also revealed that 72% of public advisories describing ICS flaws did not provide any alternative mitigations. According to Dragos, recommending the use of VPNs and trusted networks, which is included in most advisories, does not count as alternative mitigations.
Schneider Electric Patches Several Flaws in IGSS Products
14.2.2018 securityweek ICS
Schneider Electric informed customers recently that several vulnerabilities have been found in its IGSS automation product, including in the SCADA software and mobile applications.
Ivan Sanchez of Nullcode discovered that the IGSS SCADA software is affected by a configuration issue that leads to Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) mitigations not being implemented properly.
The flaw, tracked as CVE-2017-9967 and classified as high severity, affects version 12 and earlier of the IGSS SCADA software. The issue has been addressed with the release of version 13.
Another advisory published recently by Schneider Electric describes two medium severity vulnerabilities discovered by researchers in the IGSS Mobile applications for Android and iOS.
One of the flaws, CVE-2017-9968, is related to the lack of certificate pinning when the apps establish a TLS/SSL connection, which makes it easier to launch man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.
The second weakness, CVE-2017-9969, allows an attacker to obtain app passwords and other potentially sensitive data from a configuration file, where the information is stored in clear text.
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The security holes affect IGSS Mobile for Android and iOS versions 3.0 and prior, and they have been patched by Schneider with the release of version 3.1.1.
The IGSS Mobile vulnerabilities were discovered by researchers at IOActive and Embedi as part of a project that targeted SCADA mobile apps from 34 vendors.
In a report published last month, the companies revealed that flaws had been identified in a vast majority of the tested SCADA applications, including issues that can be exploited to influence industrial processes.
The project focused on Android applications, but Schneider Electric apparently determined that the iOS version of its IGSS app was also impacted by the vulnerabilities discovered by IOActive and Embedi researchers.
Schneider Electric also informed customers last week of a high severity remote code execution vulnerability affecting its StruxureOn Gateway product.
“Uploading a zip which contains carefully crafted metadata allows for the file to be uploaded to any directory on the host machine information which could lead to remote code execution,” the vendor said in its advisory.
The flaw, tracked as CVE-2017-9970, affects StruxureOn Gateway 1.0.0 through 1.1.3 and it has been patched with the release of version 1.2.
Schneider Electric admitted recently that the Triton/Trisis malware, whose existence was brought to light in mid-December, exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the company’s Triconex Safety Instrumented System (SIS) controllers.
Web Server Used in 100 ICS Products Affected by Critical Flaw
2.2.2018 securityweek ICS
A critical vulnerability that could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code has been found in a component used by more than 100 industrial control systems (ICS) from tens of vendors.
The flaw affects the web server component of 3S-Smart Software Solutions’ CODESYS WebVisu product, which allows users to view human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in a web browser.
According to the CODESYS website, the WebVisu product is used in 116 PLCs and HMIs from roughly 50 vendors, including Schneider Electric, WAGO, Hitachi, Advantech, Beck IPC, Berghof Automation, Hans Turck, and NEXCOM.
Zhu WenZhe of Istury IOT discovered that the CODESYS web server is affected by a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability that could allow an attacker to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition and possibly even execute arbitrary code on the web server.
“A crafted web server request may cause a buffer overflow and could therefore execute arbitrary code on the web server or lead to a denial-of service condition due to a crash in the web server,” 3S-Smart Software Solutions explained in an advisory.
The vendor says that while there is no evidence that the flaw has been exploited in the wild, even an attacker with low skill may be able to exploit it remotely.
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The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2018-5440 and it has been assigned a CVSS score of 9.8. CODESYS v2.3 web servers running on any version of Windows (including Windows Embedded Compact) as stand-alone or part of the CODESYS runtime system prior to version 188.8.131.52 are affected. Version 184.108.40.206, which is also part of the CODESYS 220.127.116.11 setup, patches the vulnerability.
While 3S-Smart Software Solutions says it has not identified any workarounds for this security hole, the company has advised organizations to ensure that access to controllers is restricted through minimization of network exposure, and the use of firewalls and VPNs. The company has also published a white paper with general recommendations on security in industrial control applications.
Vulnerabilities in CODESYS components are not uncommon. Last April, industrial cybersecurity startup CyberX uncovered several critical flaws in the CODESYS web server. More recently, SEC Consult reported that a CODESYS component flaw exposed PLCs from WAGO and possibly other vendors to attacks.
Shodan has been crawling port 2455, which is specific to the CODESYS protocol, since 2014. The search engine currently shows more than 5,600 systems reachable via this port, with a majority in the United States, Germany, Turkey, China and France.
Hundreds of ICS products affected by a critical flaw in CODESYS WebVisu
2.2.2018 securityaffairs ICS
Researcher discovered a critical vulnerability in the web server component of 3S-Smart Software Solutions’ CODESYS WebVisu product currently used in 116 PLCs and HMIs from many vendors,
Security researcher Zhu WenZhe from Istury IOT discovered a critical stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability in the web server component of 3S-Smart Software Solutions’ CODESYS WebVisu product that allows users to view human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in a web browser.
The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2018-5440 and it has been assigned a CVSS score of 9.8, and the worst news is that it is quite easy to exploit.
The WebVisu product is currently used in 116 PLCs and HMIs from many vendors, including Schneider Electric, Hitachi, Advantech, Berghof Automation, Hans Turck, and NEXCOM.
An attacker can remotely trigger the flaw to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition and under some conditions execute arbitrary code on the web server.
“A crafted request may cause a buffer overflow and could therefore execute arbitrary code on the web server or lead to a denial-of-service condition due to a crash in the web server. ” reads the security advisory issued by CODESYS.
According to CODESYS, there is no evidence that the flaw has been exploited in the wild.
The flaw affects all Microsoft Windows (also WinCE) based CODESYS V2.3 web servers running stand-alone or as part of the CODESYS runtime system prior version V18.104.22.168.
The company has released the CODESYS web server V.22.214.171.124 for CODESYS V2.3 to
address the flaw. This is also part of the CODESYS setup V126.96.36.199.
The vendor also recommends organizations to restrict access to controllers, use firewalls to control the accesses and VPNs.
In December 2017, security researchers at SEC Consult discovered a flaw in version 188.8.131.52 of the CODESYS runtime which is included on PFC200s with firmware version 02.07.07. The CODESYS runtime is commonly included on PLCs to allow for easy programming by users. 17 models of WAGO PFC200 Series PLC were found vulnerable to remote exploit.
A PLC flaw can be a serious threat to production and critical infrastructure
Back to the present, querying the Shodan search engine for port 2455 used by CODESYS protocol we can find more than 5,600 systems are exposed online, most of them in the United States, Germany, Turkey, and China.
Increasing Number of Industrial Systems Accessible From Web: Study
2.2.2018 securityweek ICS
The number of industrial control systems (ICS) accessible from the Internet has increased significantly in the past year, reaching more than 175,000 components, according to a new report from Positive Technologies.
Using the Shodan, Censys and Google search engines, researchers identified 175,632 ICS components accessible from the Web. In comparison, similar searches conducted in the previous year uncovered just over 162,000 systems.
Of all the systems identified in 2017, more than 66,000 were accessible via HTTP, followed by the Fox building automation protocol associated with Honeywell’s Niagara framework (39,000), Ethernet/IP (25,000), BACnet (13,000), and the Lantronix discovery protocol (10,000).
The highest percentage of exposed devices, representing 42% of the total, was spotted in the United States. The number of Internet-accessible ICS components in the U.S. increased by 10% compared to 2016, from roughly 50,000 to 64,000. The U.S. is followed at a distance by Germany (13,000 accessible systems), France (7,000), and Canada (7,000).
Many of the industrial systems connected to the Web come from Honeywell (26,000), Lantronix (12,000), SMA (9,000), Beck IPC (9,000), Siemens (6,000) and Rockwell Automation (5,000).
The distribution of Internet-exposed components by type has remained largely the same compared to 2016.
John Matherly, CEO of the search engine Shodan, has confirmed for SecurityWeek that there has been an increase of roughly 10% year-over-year in terms of ICS exposure on the Internet.
“The increase is mostly in building automation protocols and despite the news coverage we haven't seen any decrease in devices,” Matherly said.
According to Positive Technologies, a total of nearly 200 new vulnerabilities were disclosed in 2017, compared to 115 in 2016. Worryingly, 61% of the flaws whose existence was made public last year were rated critical and high severity.
The most common types of vulnerabilities were remote code execution (24%), information disclosure (17%), and buffer overflows (12%). “Most vulnerabilities detected in 2017 can be exploited remotely without needing to obtain any privileges in advance,” Positive Technologies said in its report.
A report published in October by CyberX revealed that one-third of industrial and critical infrastructure systems had been connected to the Internet, based on data obtained by the industrial security firm by passively monitoring traffic from hundreds of operational technology (OT) networks.