In-brief: Call it “password shaming”: a group of security researchers has published a list of default administrator credentials for the software that runs many of the world’s industrial facilities and manufacturing lines.
Despite increased media attention to the security of industrial control systems and critical infrastructure, progress in securing those devices has been slow, experts say. Despite progress in some areas, critical infrastructure – including energy and transportation networks- remains vulnerable to attacks leveled at known security holes for months or years because of a lack of vendor response or customers who lack the incentive or know-how to patch vulnerable systems. That according to some of the world’s top experts in cyber security and industrial systems, who are gathering this week at an industry conference in Miami. The S4 Conference, sponsored by the firm DigitalBond, is one of the premiere conferences for cyber security as it pertains to industrial control systems and often coincides with disclosures from industrial system vendors about serious security holes in their products. The security of industrial control systems has been a top concern of IT security experts and government […]
A security researcher discovered two, serious security holes in a switch by Siemens that could allow an attacker to hijack industrial control system hardware that is heavily used by energy and transportation firms, among others. IOActive, a security consulting firm in Seattle, Washington, said on Thursday that Eireann Leverett, a senior security consultant, discovered two vulnerabilities in Siemens’ SCALANCE X-200 Switches. The vulnerabilities were in a web server component that provided administrators with access to features needed to configure the switches. If exploited, they would have allowed an attacker who had access to the same network as the SCALANCE switch to perform administrative actions on the devices, including updating the switch firmware and hijack active web sessions – all without needing to first log in to the device. SCALANCE is a family of Ethernet switches that connect to industrial control system (ICS) devices including programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and Human […]
Ralph Langner, the renowned expert on the security of industrial control- and SCADA systems, warns that the latest draft of the U.S. Government’s Cyber Security Framework (CSF) will do little to make critical infrastructure more resistant to devastating cyber attacks. Writing on his blog, Langner said that a draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework does little to compel critical infrastructure owners to improve the security of their systems, or guarantee uniform (and robust) cyber security standards in the critical infrastructure space. NIST released the latest draft of the CSF late last month (PDF). But Langner, writing on Wednesday, likened the framework to a recipe that, if used by three different chefs, produces three totally different dishes…or just a messy kitchen. “A less metaphorical words, a fundamental problem of the CSF is that it is not a method that, if applied properly, would lead to predictable results,” […]
The FBI issued an alert to businesses in July after unknown attackers breached a computer used to control the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a New Jersey company, accessing a graphical user interface for the system, including a floor play layout of the company’s office. The attacks came after an Anonymous affiliated hacker, using the handle @ntisec, published links to vulnerable ICS systems running software from the firm Tridium online. The links included the address of an administrative system that controlled the HVAC system used by US Business 1, a New Jersey company that installs air conditioning systems for other companies, according to a copy of the July, 2012 Situational Information Report (PDF), issued by the Newark Division of the FBI. The alert concerning the February and March, 2012 attack was released by the web site Public Intelligence on Saturday. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment from Security […]