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.

Perimeter

6/14/2019
09:10 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Triton Attackers Seen Scanning US Power Grid Networks

The development follows speculation and concern among security experts that the attack group would expand its scope to the power grid.

The attackers behind the epic Triton/Trisis attack that in 2017 targeted and shut down a physical safety instrumentation system at a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia now have been discovered probing the networks of dozens of US and Asia-Pacific electric utilities.

Industrial-control system (ICS) security firm Dragos, which calls the attack group XENOTIME, says the attackers actually began scanning electric utility networks in the US and Asia-Pacific regions in late 2018 using similar tools and methods the attackers have used in targeting oil and gas companies in the Middle East and North America.

The findings follow speculation and concern among security experts that the Triton group would expand its scope into the power grid. To date, the only publicly known successful attack was that of the Saudi Arabian plant in 2017. In that attack, the Triton/Trisis malware was discovered embedded in a Schneider Electric customer's safety system controller. The attack could have been catastrophic, but an apparent misstep by the attackers inadvertently shut down the Schneider Triconex Emergency Shut Down (ESD) system.

Dragos said in a report published today that there's no evidence at this point that XENOTIME could actually wage a cyberattack that would result in "a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations," but that the hacking group's newly discovered activity around power grid providers is concerning. 

"XENOTIME, the most dangerous cyberthreat in the world, provides a prime example of threat proliferation in ICS. What was once considered an 'oil and gas threat' is now an electric threat, too," says Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos. "Dragos expects this overlapping targeting will continue across sectors, from power, to water, to manufacturing, and more."

FireEye Mandiant earlier this year revealed that it discovered the Triton/Trisis attack code installed at an industrial organization, marking the first publicly revealed attack by the Triton/Trisis group since the original incident at the Saudia Arabian plant. FireEye analysts found a set of custom Triton/Trisis tools tied to this second victim's organization and the attackers inside the victim's corporate IT network. They declined to reveal the identity of the victim organization.

Meanwhile, the Triton/XENOTIME group in 2018 also compromised several ICS vendors, raising concerns of them waging supply chain-style attacks.

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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
tdsan
50%
50%
tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/20/2019 | 5:53:13 PM
Triton Attack Comment
My question is why don't we have a ICS group that looks into all of the security issues associated with the US to come up with viable solutions like:

-> Blocking overseas addresses at the ISP layer

-> Create a security dashboard where threat intelligence is shared amoung energy companies, this prescriptive procedure allows organizations who are on the grid to keep ahead of the game especially when actors attack a specific site and they can view the remedy on how to thwart the attack

-> Utilize IPv6 as a way to communicate over the web using IPSec AES256 ESP/AH tunnels

-> Work with IBM and Deep Learning to identify the vulnerabilities in real-time (machine learning at the highest level)

-> Take the best of all Hardened linux machines and create a parallel processing OS that uses docker containers for application level processing where changes are made within a specific time period

-> Simultaneous authorization - Keys are unclocked by two people (similar to nuclear authorization)

-> Distributed NMS network is used to monitor traffic and external communication, anything not on the grid, it gets blocked

-> IP address range limited to devices that are allowed on the network (IPv6 only), only external power companies are able to communicate with the grid and their location is verified by GPS tracking system, if the object moves (routers/switches/firewalls, then someone is notified).

-> Cloud is used as a backup and/or DR resource if the onsite system is compromised, the command and control of the ICS environment can be moved to the cloud (direct connect to multiple CSP - Cloud Service Providers).

-> System recovery should be done in minutes instead of hours

By the way, Schneider Electric was the company who reported on it, AIM Triton overflow was affected

A Windows resolution to address it would be to run the following (complete analysis - https://bit.ly/2XeECIS)
Write-Host " "
Write-Host "Block Triton ICS Port 39929"
Write-Host "---------------------------"

$Name = "Triton-ICS-Attack-Port-UDP-39929"
$Triton = (Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName $Name)
$TPort = (Get-NetFirewallrule -DisplayName $Name | Get-NetFirewallPortFilter).LocalPort
if ( ( ($Triton).DisplayName -eq $Name) -And ($TPort -eq 39929) ) {
    Write-Host $Name "exists - ok"
} else {
    New-Netfirewallrule -Action Block -Enabled True -Direction Inbound -LocalPort 39929 \n
-RemoteAddress Localsubnet -Name $Name -Profile Any -Protocol UDP \n
-DisplayName $Name -RemotePort 1502 -Description "Triton-ICS-Attack-Port-39929" Get-NetFirewallRule -Name $Name }


Block Triton ICS Port 39929
-------------------------------
Triton-ICS-Attack-Port-UDP-39929 exists - ok

Linux Perspective:

iptables -I INPUT 1 -p UDP -m multiport -d 192.168.0.0/16 -s 0.0.0.0/0 --dport 39929 --sport 1502 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j DROP

or

ufw deny in proto udp from 0.0.0.0/0 port 1502 to 192.168.0.0/16 port 39929 comment "Triton Attack UDP 1502 and 39929" (this is an ex., the default network could on the 172.16 or 10. Network)

Todd
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16772
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-07
The serialize-to-js NPM package before version 3.0.1 is vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS). It does not properly mitigate against unsafe characters in serialized regular expressions. This vulnerability is not affected on Node.js environment since Node.js's implementation of RegExp.prototype.to...
CVE-2019-9464
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
In various functions of RecentLocationApps.java, DevicePolicyManagerService.java, and RecognitionService.java, there is an incorrect warning indicating an app accessed the user's location. This could dissolve the trust in the platform's permission system, with no additional execution privileges need...
CVE-2019-2220
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
In checkOperation of AppOpsService.java, there is a possible bypass of user interaction requirements due to mishandling application suspend. This could lead to local information disclosure no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVers...
CVE-2019-2221
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
In hasActivityInVisibleTask of WindowProcessController.java there?s a possible bypass of user interaction requirements due to incorrect handling of top activities in INITIALIZING state. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction ...
CVE-2019-2222
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
n ihevcd_parse_slice_data of ihevcd_parse_slice.c, there is a possible out of bounds write due to a missing bounds check. This could lead to remote code execution with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: Android-8.0 Android...