Attacks/Breaches

7/12/2018
10:00 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Ukraine Security Service Stops VPNFilter Attack at Chlorine Station

The facility's process control system and emergency-detection system were infected, Interfax Ukraine reports.

Ukraine's SBU Security Service reportedly detected and shut down a cyberattack that used VPNFilter malware on network equipment in a chlorine station that supplies water treatment and sewage plants.

Interfax-Ukraine reported that the LLC Aulska station in Auly was hit with a VPNFilter infection intended to disrupt operations at the chlorine station.  

"Specialists of the cyber security service established minutes after [the incident] that the enterprise's process control system and system for detecting signs of emergencies had deliberately been infected by the VPNFilter computer virus originating from Russia. The continuation of the cyber attack could have led to a breakdown in technological processes and a possible accident," the SBU wrote on its Facebook page, according to the report.

VPNFilter is a stealthy and modular attack platform that includes three stages of malware. The first establishes a foothold in the device and can't be killed with a reboot; the second conducts cyber espionage, stealing files, data, as well as a self-destruction feature; and the third stage includes multiple modules including a packer sniffer for nabbing website credentials and Modbus SCADA protocols.

Ukraine was one of the first targets initially found with infected IoT devices in May, when VPNFilter was first discovered by researchers at Cisco Talos. The attackers behind VPNFilter - thought to be the Russian military hacker team Fancy Bear aka APT28 - also built a subnetwork aimed at Ukraine, complete with its own command and control server.

ICS/SCADA expert Robert Lee says the initial reports out of Ukraine don't provide sufficient details to confirm the attack could have caused a physical attack. "What we know right now about VPNFilter indicates that there was nothing in the malware to support the scenario of physical damage and operational impact that was described," says Lee, CEO and founder of Dragos.

He says there are other possible scenarios for a physical attack, such as the attackers "directly using that access," but the SBU's report doesn't specifically indicate that.

"In this case we need more details," he says. "Obviously the SBU is doing good work, but the rest of the community would benefit from more insight, as the scenario presented leaves many questions."

In its initial research on the malware in May, Cisco Talos found that VPNFilter includes "an exact copy" of Black Energy, the malware used in attacks that ultimately shut out the lights in western Ukraine in 2015.

Read more here

 Black Hat USA returns to Las Vegas with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

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
WebAuthn, FIDO2 Infuse Browsers, Platforms with Strong Authentication
John Fontana, Standards & Identity Analyst, Yubico,  9/19/2018
Turn the NIST Cybersecurity Framework into Reality: 5 Steps
Mukul Kumar & Anupam Sahai, CISO & VP of Cyber Practice and VP Product Management, Cavirin Systems,  9/20/2018
NSS Labs Files Antitrust Suit Against Symantec, CrowdStrike, ESET, AMTSO
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "I'm not sure I like this top down management approach!"
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-2018-17332
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-22
An issue was discovered in libsvg2 through 2012-10-19. The svgGetNextPathField function in svg_string.c returns its input pointer in certain circumstances, which might result in a memory leak caused by wasteful malloc calls.
CVE-2018-17333
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-22
An issue was discovered in libsvg2 through 2012-10-19. A stack-based buffer overflow in svgStringToLength in svg_types.c allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact because sscanf is misused.
CVE-2018-17334
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-22
An issue was discovered in libsvg2 through 2012-10-19. A stack-based buffer overflow in the svgGetNextPathField function in svg_string.c allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact because a strncpy copy limit is miscalculated.
CVE-2018-17336
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-22
UDisks 2.8.0 has a format string vulnerability in udisks_log in udiskslogging.c, allowing attackers to obtain sensitive information (stack contents), cause a denial of service (memory corruption), or possibly have unspecified other impact via a malformed filesystem label, as demonstrated by %d or %n...
CVE-2018-17321
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-22
An issue was discovered in SeaCMS 6.64. XSS exists in admin_datarelate.php via the time or maxHit parameter in a dorandomset action.