Risk
12/27/2010
11:48 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

SCADA Security Heats Up

The use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices is growing. That growth is expected to continue to soar. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan SCADA revenues will grow from $4.6 billion last year to nearly $7 billion in 2016. Question is: What about security?

The use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices is growing. That growth is expected to continue to soar. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan SCADA revenues will grow from $4.6 billion last year to nearly $7 billion in 2016. Question is: What about security?A few years ago, when anyone would bring up the topic of SCADA system security, they were looked at like conspiracy theorists or UFO investigators.

That all changed when Stuxnet surfaced, which was designed, many analysts who studied the worm now contend, to disrupt the uranium enrichment capabilities of Iran through the modification of programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

That's not precisely a SCADA system, but it does show that industrial control systems can - and more importantly - will be targeted. And the processes SCADA systems help to manage include those used in manufacturing, power generation and distribution, refining, water systems, large communication systems - you get the idea: critical infrastructure stuff.

What is concerning is that for years, while people were aware of the security concerns, no one did much of anything about it.

Fortunately, security is getting some level of attention now. From Frost & Sullivan's research report, Strategic Analysis of the World SCADA Market, found that oil exploration, gas distribution, and other demands are driving SCADA growth. And security is part of the planned spend:

One of the key challenges that manufacturers face in the world SCADA market is ensuring enhanced cyber security. "A great majority of SCADA vendors have started to address the risks of cyber threats by developing lines of specialised industrial firewall and VPN solutions for TCP/IP-based SCADA networks," states Frost & Sullivan Research

Analyst Katarzyna Owczarczyk. "Additionally, more and more applications are being implemented to the control systems in order to prevent unauthorized application changes without impacting the performances of common antivirus scans."

That's a start. Now let's also ensure the applications and systems SCADA devices connect are built securely and with resiliency in mind.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4231
Published: 2015-07-03
The Python interpreter in Cisco NX-OS 6.2(8a) on Nexus 7000 devices allows local users to bypass intended access restrictions and delete an arbitrary VDC's files by leveraging administrative privileges in one VDC, aka Bug ID CSCur08416.

CVE-2015-4232
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco NX-OS 6.2(10) on Nexus and MDS 9000 devices allows local users to execute arbitrary OS commands by entering crafted tar parameters in the CLI, aka Bug ID CSCus44856.

CVE-2015-4234
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco NX-OS 6.0(2) and 6.2(2) on Nexus devices has an improper OS configuration, which allows local users to obtain root access via unspecified input to the Python interpreter, aka Bug IDs CSCun02887, CSCur00115, and CSCur00127.

CVE-2015-4237
Published: 2015-07-03
The CLI parser in Cisco NX-OS 4.1(2)E1(1), 6.2(11b), 6.2(12), 7.2(0)ZZ(99.1), 7.2(0)ZZ(99.3), and 9.1(1)SV1(3.1.8) on Nexus devices allows local users to execute arbitrary OS commands via crafted characters in a filename, aka Bug IDs CSCuv08491, CSCuv08443, CSCuv08480, CSCuv08448, CSCuu99291, CSCuv0...

CVE-2015-4239
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software 9.3(2.243) and 100.13(0.21) allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) by sending crafted OSPFv2 packets on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCus84220.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marc Spitler, co-author of the Verizon DBIR will share some of the lesser-known but most intriguing tidbits from the massive report