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
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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
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
News
US Formally Attributes SolarWinds Attack to Russian Intelligence Agency
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  4/15/2021
News
Dependency Problems Increase for Open Source Components
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  4/14/2021
News
FBI Operation Remotely Removes Web Shells From Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "Elon, I think our cover's been blown."
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
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31597
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-23
The xmlhttprequest-ssl package before 1.6.1 for Node.js disables SSL certificate validation by default, because rejectUnauthorized (when the property exists but is undefined) is considered to be false within the https.request function of Node.js. In other words, no certificate is ever rejected.
CVE-2021-2296
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-22
Vulnerability in the Oracle VM VirtualBox product of Oracle Virtualization (component: Core). The supported version that is affected is Prior to 6.1.20. Difficult to exploit vulnerability allows high privileged attacker with logon to the infrastructure where Oracle VM VirtualBox executes to compromi...
CVE-2021-2297
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-22
Vulnerability in the Oracle VM VirtualBox product of Oracle Virtualization (component: Core). The supported version that is affected is Prior to 6.1.20. Difficult to exploit vulnerability allows high privileged attacker with logon to the infrastructure where Oracle VM VirtualBox executes to compromi...
CVE-2021-2298
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-22
Vulnerability in the MySQL Server product of Oracle MySQL (component: Server: Optimizer). Supported versions that are affected are 8.0.23 and prior. Easily exploitable vulnerability allows low privileged attacker with network access via multiple protocols to compromise MySQL Server. Successful attac...
CVE-2021-2299
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-22
Vulnerability in the MySQL Server product of Oracle MySQL (component: Server: Optimizer). Supported versions that are affected are 8.0.23 and prior. Easily exploitable vulnerability allows high privileged attacker with network access via multiple protocols to compromise MySQL Server. Successful atta...