Attacks/Breaches

7/27/2017
09:58 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Researchers Release Free Tool to Analyze ICS Malware

CrashOverride/Industroyer malware used against Ukraine's power grid the inspiration for the reverse-engineering tool.

BLACK HAT USA – Las Vegas – The researchers who discovered the game-changing malware used against Ukraine's power grid in 2016 that knocked out power for an hour in part of Kiev released a tool here this week for analyzing malicious code targeting industrial networks.

ESET researchers Robert Lipovsky and Anton Cherepanov wrote an IDAPython script for IDA Pro that allows researchers and security team members to reverse-engineer binaries that employ the OPC Data Access industrial communications protocol, namely the CrashOverride/Industroyer malware that turned out the lights in Kiev in 2016, as well as Havex, a remote access Trojan used for cyber espionage against industrial control system environments.

CrashOverride/Industroyer is the fourth publicly known piece of malware designed specifically to target ICS/SCADA: first was Stuxnet, then Havex, and BlackEnergy.

"If there are other future malware [families] like Industroyer or Havex, [investigators] will have an easier time" finding and analyzing them, Lipovsky says.

"This tool helps you understand what the threat was designed to do," he says. Detection is important, he says, "but if you want to understand what the attackers are up to, you need to dig in deeply."

Phil Neray, vice president of industrial security at CyberX, applauded Lipovsky and Cherepanov's open-source tool. "ESET's reverse-engineering tool is important because we have a big shortage of defenders with deep knowledge of ICS systems, and it helps automate and reduce time spent on critical reverse-engineering tasks such as figuring out if the industrial malware is focused only on reconnaissance -- like Havex -- or whether it was written to disrupt and destroy, like Industroyer/CrashOverride," he says.

Industroyer/CrashOverride's modular framework easily could be adapted to other industries, including pharmaceutical and chemicals, Neray notes.

Lipovsky and Cherepanov in June of this year discovered the CrashOverride/Industroyer malware framework, a sophisticated attack that they and researchers at Dragos say was the handiwork of a seasoned and well-resourced attacker, likely a nation-state. While neither firm will speculate who is behind the attack, the obvious culprit is Russia as part of its campaign against Ukraine, experts say.

The malware – which is actually a framework - includes a port scanner for recon of the network, and attack modules that take control of the ICS/SCADA devices.

Lipovsky says cyber espionage-type attacks or malware should be a red flag for an ICS/SCADA operator. "A lot of people are downplaying these sorts of things as 'not an attack.' Spying is an attack," however, he says. "These things are detectable."

The goal is to catch attackers before they burrow deeper. "What you'll see before [a major attack] is probing. Probing may be more serious than you think," says Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher at ESET.

Lipovsky announced the release of the tool during a session here at Black Hat yesterday, "Industroyer/Crashoverride: Zero Things Cool About a Threat Group Targeting the Power Grid."

Related Content:

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
12 Free, Ready-to-Use Security Tools
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  10/12/2018
Most IT Security Pros Want to Change Jobs
Dark Reading Staff 10/12/2018
6 Security Trends for 2018/2019
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The Risk Management Struggle
The Risk Management Struggle
The majority of organizations are struggling to implement a risk-based approach to security even though risk reduction has become the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of enterprise security strategies. Read the report and get more details today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-10839
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Qemu emulator <= 3.0.0 built with the NE2000 NIC emulation support is vulnerable to an integer overflow, which could lead to buffer overflow issue. It could occur when receiving packets over the network. A user inside guest could use this flaw to crash the Qemu process resulting in DoS.
CVE-2018-13399
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
The Microsoft Windows Installer for Atlassian Fisheye and Crucible before version 4.6.1 allows local attackers to escalate privileges because of weak permissions on the installation directory.
CVE-2018-18381
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Z-BlogPHP 1.5.2.1935 (Zero) has a stored XSS Vulnerability in zb_system/function/c_system_admin.php via the Content-Type header during the uploading of image attachments.
CVE-2018-18382
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Advanced HRM 1.6 allows Remote Code Execution via PHP code in a .php file to the user/update-user-avatar URI, which can be accessed through an "Update Profile" "Change Picture" (aka user/edit-profile) action.
CVE-2018-18374
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
XSS exists in the MetInfo 6.1.2 admin/index.php page via the anyid parameter.