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.

Threat Intelligence

1/16/2018
09:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Researchers Offer a 'VirusTotal for ICS'

Free online sandbox, honeypot tool simulates a real-world industrial network environment.

S4x18 CONFERENCE – Miami – A team of researchers plans to release an open source online tool for capturing and vetting industrial control system (ICS) malware samples that operates as a sandbox with honeypot features.

David Atch, vice president of research for CyberX, here today outlined details of the free, Web-based sandbox tool he and his team initially developed for research purposes. "It's like a VirusTotal for ICS," he explains in an interview.

VirusTotal is the wildly popular online tool that uses multiple antivirus and scan engines to analyze suspicious files and URLs for malware.

The goal was to create a sandbox that simulates real-world industrial networks. The sandbox tool allows ICS malware to execute and unpack, and then detects telltale malicious activities such as OPC (Open Platform Communications) scanning or overwriting programmable logic controller (PLC) configuration files, and provides quick offline detection, according to CyberX, which plans to roll out the tool in the next couple of months.

Atch says existing network sandbox technology for non-ICS, or IT environments, often misses ICS-specific malware because it doesn't account for OT protocols and devices, for example, and doesn't simulate OT components. "There are not enough tools for the ICS community," Atch says. And VirusTotal isn't ideal for ICS-specific malware, either, he says.

Take Stuxnet. The first Stuxnet variant was sent to VirusTotal in 2007, notes Ralph Langner, founder and CEO of Langner Communications, but Stuxnet wasn't detected until 2012, he says. "I strongly support the idea" of a VirusTotal for ICS malware, he says.

Langner, a top Stuxnet expert, says ICS malware analysis is time-consuming. "It took me three years to analyze Stuxnet," he says.

The ICS malware sandbox tool is aimed at more efficiently spotting ICS-specific malware, and can simulate the types of traffic to and from a PLC, for example, as its honeypot function. That allows the malware to execute in a safe space while unpacking and uncovering its functions and matching them with other known variants. The tool includes OT software, virtualized ICS processes and files, and a low-interaction ICS network (the honeypot element).

The concept of an ICS sandbox isn't new: researchers at Trend Micro in 2013 stood up two honeypot-based architectures that posed as a typical ICS/SCADA environment at a water utility, including one that included a Web-based application for a water pressure station. There were 39 attacks from 14 different nations over a 28-day period. Most attacks on ICS/SCADA systems appeared to come from China (35%), followed by the US (19%) and Laos (12%).

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
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
MariaColeman
50%
50%
MariaColeman,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/23/2018 | 11:54:10 AM
Interesting
That is pretty interesting) 
WriteMyPaper
50%
50%
WriteMyPaper,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2018 | 4:33:44 AM
My Opinion
That`s something definitely worth knowing.
More SolarWinds Attack Details Emerge
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  1/12/2021
Vulnerability Management Has a Data Problem
Tal Morgenstern, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Vulcan Cyber,  1/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-22850
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-19
HGiga EIP product lacks ineffective access control in certain pages that allow attackers to access database or perform privileged functions.
CVE-2021-22851
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-19
HGiga EIP product contains SQL Injection vulnerability. Attackers can inject SQL commands into specific URL parameter (document management page) to obtain database schema and data.
CVE-2021-22852
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-19
HGiga EIP product contains SQL Injection vulnerability. Attackers can inject SQL commands into specific URL parameter (online registration) to obtain database schema and data.
CVE-2021-3178
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-19
** DISPUTED ** fs/nfsd/nfs3xdr.c in the Linux kernel through 5.10.8, when there is an NFS export of a subdirectory of a filesystem, allows remote attackers to traverse to other parts of the filesystem via READDIRPLUS. NOTE: some parties argue that such a subdirectory export is not intended to preven...
CVE-2021-3177
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-19
Python 3.x through 3.9.1 has a buffer overflow in PyCArg_repr in _ctypes/callproc.c, which may lead to remote code execution in certain Python applications that accept floating-point numbers as untrusted input, as demonstrated by a 1e300 argument to c_double.from_param. This occurs because sprintf i...