Feeds

New report warns of SCADA CYBERGEDDON*

*In the worst case.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The industrial control system fright machine is getting another kick along today, via a survey by Russian vendor Positive Technologies.

The company’s study makes some startling claims: 40 percent of SCADA systems “available from the Internet” can be easily hacked, half of the vulnerabilities the company found allow the execution of arbitrary code on the target system, one-third of vulnerabilities arise from poor configuration such as using default passwords, and one-quarter are related to users not installing security updates.

The study was based on an analysis of vulnerabilities announced on sources such as ICS-CERT, Bugtraq, vendor advisories, and similar lists.

While the most basic datum – the number of vulnerabilities announced – isn’t surprising (98 in 2012 compared to 64 in 2011, and only 11 in 2010), The Register would note that nobody paid serious attention to SCADA and industrial control security until shocked into action by Stuxnet.

Similarly, while Siemens’ position at the top of the list (with 42 identified vulnerabilities) looks bad, it’s because the vendor has instituted a vulnerability assessment program designed to discover problems in its ICS. The report notes that Siemens has fixed 88 percent of published vulnerabilities (at the top of the list is Advantech with 91 percent of vulnerabilities fixed, compared to Schneider Electric at 56 percent).

However, assessing the risk posed by these vulnerabilities is less easily done. For example: while the study claims that all of the “internet-visible” ICS it identified in Switzerland are vulnerable, that country accounts for less than two percent of the total sample (El Reg also notes that the sample size is unknown).

Without any clear indication of the extent of Positive Technologies’ test, beyond identifying whether a route existed to a device, it’s impossible to discuss whether any of the “Internet-available” devices are secured in any way. ®

Bootnote: Australian admins can, perhaps, breathe a sigh of relief of some kind: the analysis doesn’t report any vulnerable systems down under. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.