Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cyberwarfare

‘Allanite’ Group Targets ICS Networks at Electric Utilities in US, UK

A threat actor has been targeting business and industrial control networks at electric utilities in the United States and United Kingdom, according to industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos.

A threat actor has been targeting business and industrial control networks at electric utilities in the United States and United Kingdom, according to industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos.

The group, tracked as “Allanite,” has been linked to campaigns conducted by Dragonfly (aka Energetic Bear and Crouching Yeti) and Dymalloy, which Dragos discovered while analyzing Dragonfly attacks.

Allanite

According to Dragos, a report published by the DHS in October 2017 combined Dragonfly attacks with Allanite activity. The company also noted that Allanite’s operations closely resemble the Dragonfly-linked Palmetto Fusion campaign described by the DHS in July 2017. However, while their targets and techniques are similar, Dragos believes Allanite is different from Dragonfly and Dymalloy.

Allanite leverages phishing and watering hole attacks to gain access to targeted networks. The group does not use any malware and instead relies on legitimate tools often available in Windows, Dragos says.

While the U.S. government and private sector companies have linked Allanite activity to Russia, Dragos says it “does not corroborate the attribution of others.”

In July 2017, US officials told the press that the hackers had not gained access to operational networks, but Dragos confirmed third-party reports that Allanite did in fact harvest information directly from ICS networks.

Learn More at SecurityWeek’s 2018 ICS Cyber Security Conference

Allanite has been active since at least May 2017 and continues to conduct campaigns. Its operations target both business and ICS networks at electric utilities in the US and UK in an effort to conduct reconnaissance and collect intelligence.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Dragos believes with moderate confidence that the threat actor gains access to industrial systems in an effort to obtain information needed to develop disruptive capabilities and be ready in case it decides to cause damage. However, the security firm says the group has yet to actually cause any disruption or damage.

Dragos’ report on Allanite is the first in a series focusing on threat groups targeting critical infrastructure. Information on each actor will be made available through an Activity Groups dashboard, with full technical details made available to paying customers.

Related: Critical Infrastructure Threat Is Much Worse Than We Thought

Related: Cisco Switches in Iran, Russia Hacked in Apparent Pro-US Attack

Related: Five Threat Groups Target Industrial Systems

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.

Register

SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.

Register

People on the Move

Kim Larsen is new Chief Information Security Officer at Keepit

Professional services company Slalom has appointed Christopher Burger as its first CISO.

Allied Universal announced that Deanna Steele has joined the company as CIO for North America.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cybercrime

The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Cyberwarfare

WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...

Cybercrime

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft calls attention to a series of zero-day remote code execution attacks hitting its Office productivity suite.

Cyberwarfare

Russian espionage group Nomadic Octopus infiltrated a Tajikistani telecoms provider to spy on 18 entities, including government officials and public service infrastructures.

Malware & Threats

The NSA and FBI warn that a Chinese state-sponsored APT called BlackTech is hacking into network edge devices and using firmware implants to silently...

Cyberwarfare

Several hacker groups have joined in on the Israel-Hamas war that started over the weekend after the militant group launched a major attack.

ICS/OT

The overall effect of current global geopolitical conditions is that nation states have a greater incentive to target the ICS/OT of critical industries, while...