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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security 2018
This Dark Reading Tech Digest explores the biggest news stories of 2018 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20735
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
** DISPUTED ** An issue was discovered in BMC PATROL Agent through 11.3.01. It was found that the PatrolCli application can allow for lateral movement and escalation of privilege inside a Windows Active Directory environment. It was found that by default the PatrolCli / PATROL Agent application only...
CVE-2019-0624
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A spoofing vulnerability exists when a Skype for Business 2015 server does not properly sanitize a specially crafted request, aka "Skype for Business 2015 Spoofing Vulnerability." This affects Skype.
CVE-2019-0646
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly sanitize user provided input, aka "Team Foundation Server Cross-site Scripting Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2019-0647
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
An information disclosure vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly handle variables marked as secret, aka "Team Foundation Server Information Disclosure Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2018-20727
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
Multiple command injection vulnerabilities in NeDi before 1.7Cp3 allow authenticated users to execute code on the server side via the flt parameter to Nodes-Traffic.php, the dv parameter to Devices-Graph.php, or the tit parameter to drawmap.php.