Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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 the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4719
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
The client API authentication mechanism in Pexip Infinity before 10 allows remote attackers to gain privileges via a crafted request.
CVE-2020-15604
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
An incomplete SSL server certification validation vulnerability in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products could allow an attacker to combine this vulnerability with another attack to trick an affected client into downloading a malicious update instead of the expected one. CW...
CVE-2020-24560
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
An incomplete SSL server certification validation vulnerability in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products could allow an attacker to combine this vulnerability with another attack to trick an affected client into downloading a malicious update instead of the expected one. CW...
CVE-2020-25596
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x. x86 PV guest kernels can experience denial of service via SYSENTER. The SYSENTER instruction leaves various state sanitization activities to software. One of Xen's sanitization paths injects a #GP fault, and incorrectly delivers it twice to the guest. T...
CVE-2020-25597
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x. There is mishandling of the constraint that once-valid event channels may not turn invalid. Logic in the handling of event channel operations in Xen assumes that an event channel, once valid, will not become invalid over the life time of a guest. Howeve...