Attacks/Breaches
5/18/2011
02:32 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Stuxnet: How It Happened And How Your Enterprise Can Avoid Similar Attacks

A look back at one of the industry's most complex attacks--and the lessons it teaches.

[Excerpted from "Stuxnet Reality Check: Are You Prepared For A Similar Attack," a new report posted this week on the Dark Reading Advanced Threats Tech Center.]

Iranian nuclear facilities, zero-day exploits, secret operatives and nation-state government involvement sounds more like the backstory to a spy novel than a piece of malware. Yet Stuxnet, the most researched and analyzed malware ever, is still being studied and discussed in security circles around the world--even though it was discovered more than a year ago.

You probably don’t operate a nuclear facility, so why should you care about a piece of software that targeted specific centrifuge models in particular nuclear plants in another part of the world? Simply put, Stuxnet made cybernightmares reality and changed the security world forever--while simultaneously bringing to light the high risks associated with the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks that control operations within many energy and utility companies.

How would a Stuxnet-like attack affect your enterprise--and what can you do to stop it? Let's take a look.

First, why should you be concerned? A recent Ponemon Institute report, "State of IT Security: Study of Utilities and Energy Companies," shows that protecting SCADA systems is clearly the highest security objectives within these companies, and the most difficult to achieve. For companies that run SCADA networks, Stuxnet shows the harm a determined, highly skilled attacker with ample resources might do.

For the rest of us, while there are comparisons that could be made between private networks and SCADA networks, the risks are not the same. So, your best bet is to understand how Stuxnet works, its intent and, most importantly, why it was able to be somewhat successful, to understand the potential next-generation of malware that will attack your network.

Stuxnet was used in a targeted attack on five organizations in June and July 2009 and March, April, and May 2010, all five of which have a presence in Iran. The targeting of specific companies is what sets Stuxnet apart from the traditional advanced persistent threat.



Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Yes, you can stay safe in the cloud. In this Tech Center report, we explain the risks and guide you in setting appropriate cloud security policies, processes, and controls. Download the report now. (Free with registration.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0761
Published: 2014-08-27
The DNP3 driver in CG Automation ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop or process crash) via a crafted TCP packet.

CVE-2014-0762
Published: 2014-08-27
The DNP3 driver in CG Automation ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway allows physically proximate attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop or process crash) via crafted input over a serial line.

CVE-2014-2380
Published: 2014-08-27
Schneider Electric Wonderware Information Server (WIS) Portal 4.0 SP1 through 5.5 uses weak encryption, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading a credential file.

CVE-2014-2381
Published: 2014-08-27
Schneider Electric Wonderware Information Server (WIS) Portal 4.0 SP1 through 5.5 uses weak encryption, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading a credential file.

CVE-2014-3344
Published: 2014-08-27
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the web framework in Cisco Transport Gateway for Smart Call Home (aka TG-SCH or Transport Gateway Installation Software) 4.0 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug IDs CSCuq31129, CSCuq3...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.