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

7/12/2018
10:00 AM
Connect Directly
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 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
Overcoming the Challenge of Shorter Certificate Lifespans
Mike Cooper, Founder & CEO of Revocent,  10/15/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
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-2020-27621
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
The FileImporter extension in MediaWiki through 1.35.0 was not properly attributing various user actions to a specific user's IP address. Instead, for various actions, it would report the IP address of an internal Wikimedia Foundation server by omitting X-Forwarded-For data. This resulted in an inab...
CVE-2020-27620
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
The Cosmos Skin for MediaWiki through 1.35.0 has stored XSS because MediaWiki messages were not being properly escaped. This is related to wfMessage and Html::rawElement, as demonstrated by CosmosSocialProfile::getUserGroups.
CVE-2020-27619
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
In Python 3 through 3.9.0, the Lib/test/multibytecodec_support.py CJK codec tests call eval() on content retrieved via HTTP.
CVE-2020-17454
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
WSO2 API Manager 3.1.0 and earlier has reflected XSS on the "publisher" component's admin interface. More precisely, it is possible to inject an XSS payload into the owner POST parameter, which does not filter user inputs. By putting an XSS payload in place of a valid Owner Name, a modal b...
CVE-2020-24421
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
Adobe InDesign version 15.1.2 (and earlier) is affected by a memory corruption vulnerability due to insecure handling of a malicious .indd file, potentially resulting in arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability.