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.

Comments
What IT Can Teach Utilities About Cybersecurity & Smart Grids
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
11/26/2013 | 3:31:50 PM
Another security threat to keep us up at night
This is a fascinating article that opens up a whole new set of security concerns. Your example of the denial of service attack last year that knocked out the internal communications system of a German power utility is striking example about how vulnerable industrial control and eneergy systems are. As the Internet of Things expands, it's only going to get worse. Thanks for raising the red flag, Bob. 
Susan Fogarty
50%
50%
Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2013 | 9:22:29 AM
Re: Another security threat to keep us up at night
Marilyn, I agree. This is one of those topics that I am surprised doesn't get more attention. Especially now that energy companies are using remote monitoring to measure customer consumption, their networks have become very dispersed. Bob, do you see utilities making moves to hire more people with IT and security backgrounds to help beef up their security postures?
Chuck Brooks
50%
50%
Chuck Brooks,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2013 | 10:36:54 AM
Cybersecurity/smartgrids
Thanks Robert for an excellent article. Our utilities and smart grids are indeed vulnerable and are under attacked more than we are aware. Thankfully, DHS, NIST, and the not-for-profit Council on Cybersecurity have identified this issue of critical infrastrucutre protection as an urgent priority.
Bswarthout49
50%
50%
Bswarthout49,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2013 | 3:37:10 PM
External Threats
I found this to be a very insightful article and there is a lot to take away from it. It seems more and more utilities are moving to offline air gaped enviornments to avoid any interaction with the oustide world. Still, the question remains, how do you validate the integrity of files that would enter such a utility via USB from a contractor/vendor/employee, etc?

I would encourage you to read how OPSWAT Security Applications allow you to design security controls which dictate which and what kinds of media and file types are allowed into critical infrastrucute.
Stratustician
50%
50%
Stratustician,
User Rank: Moderator
12/2/2013 | 7:35:59 PM
A frightening thought!
What a great wake-up call to one of the lesser known, yet potentially more critical, threats due to the age of cloud and internet.  As the Internet of Things and the push to connect infrastructure to the cloud increases, it's frightening to think of the risk of devastation it brings.  In the worst case, when you consider electronic warfare, these systems could have devastating outcomes.  After all, to think that all nuclear missle launch codes were set to 00000 for the longest time, and the weakness of password security, this is truly a recipe for disaster.  Unfortunately, only a forced revamp of security controls for these systems will help reduce the risks from these threats.
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
12/3/2013 | 9:19:13 AM
Re: A frightening thought!
Totally agree, Stratusician, that these power grid vulnerabilities are really scary. One of the most frightening revelations in the article was that Windows 95 machines still run many critical systems.
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Strategist
12/4/2013 | 2:00:03 PM
Win 95
I'm not shocked to hear utilities using Windows 95 in critical grid machinery. I was discussing Internet of things strategy with a manufacturing CIO, and he said this is one thing that holds them back -- they have Windows versions much older than 95 running machines, and they don't dare put those on a network.
davidjwilson@rogers.com
50%
50%
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2013 | 12:19:51 AM
Re: Win 95
Why is Windows ANYTHING running these systems???
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
12/6/2013 | 1:53:18 PM
Re: IoT & Smart Grids
Kristopher Ardis, executive director of Energy Solutions for Maxim Integrated, offers some additional perspective in a recent article in SmartGrid News, Smart grid, the Internet of Things and Security, an inside look . Focusing on the similarities between smart grids and IoT, Ardis says smart grid deployments offer several reasons why "security must be designed in from the start" of any IoT deployment, among them:
  • A multitude of remote, distributed sensors and control devices are deployed Iin IoT where they will not be supervised. Unlike an ATM with a security camera nearby, there is no oversight on a smart meter. This makes it easy for an attacker to acquire devices for study.
  • There are risks with machine-to-machine communication. When devices are communicating with each other with little human interaction, tampering may be difficult to detect until something catastrophic happens.


Interesting analogy and food for thought! Anyone agree or disagree?

 

 

 

RodneyH403
50%
50%
RodneyH403,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/10/2013 | 6:39:22 PM
RBAC part of the solution
When it comes to default passwords, the asset owners need to pay more attention to specifying requirements for Role Based Access Control using Standards such as IEEE 1686.

As far as Ruggedcom is concerened I believe that default password cyber security issues were addressed quite some time ago (12 months + ?) which seems to be a responsible approach.  Not sure what benefit there is in raising an old resolved issue against a select vendor - FUD??

Once decent RBAC is implemeneted by the asset owner, it is then about how do they manage that access to the devices with large numbers of users and large numbers of devices so solutions like the Siemens Ruggedcom Crossbow system comes into play controlling and recording all activity.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>


Look Beyond the 'Big 5' in Cyberattacks
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/25/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I think the boss is bing watching '70s TV shows again!
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5423
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
CAPI (Cloud Controller) versions prior to 1.101.0 are vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack in which an unauthenticated malicious attacker can send specially-crafted YAML files to certain endpoints, causing the YAML parser to consume excessive CPU and RAM.
CVE-2020-29454
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
Editors/LogViewerController.cs in Umbraco through 8.9.1 allows a user to visit a logviewer endpoint even if they lack Applications.Settings access.
CVE-2020-7199
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
A security vulnerability has been identified in the HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Manager, also known as HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Management Software. The vulnerability could be remotely exploited to bypass remote authentication leading to execution of arbitrary commands, gaining privileged access,...
CVE-2020-14260
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
HCL Domino is susceptible to a Buffer Overflow vulnerability in DXL due to improper validation of user input. A successful exploit could enable an attacker to crash Domino or execute attacker-controlled code on the server system.
CVE-2020-14305
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-02
An out-of-bounds memory write flaw was found in how the Linux kernel’s Voice Over IP H.323 connection tracking functionality handled connections on ipv6 port 1720. This flaw allows an unauthenticated remote user to crash the system, causing a denial of service. The highest threat ...