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DHS Report on Anonymous Warns of Potential Industrial Control Threat

Anonymous Targeting Industrial Control Systems

Anonymous Targeting Industrial Control Systems

On Monday, the Public Intelligence Project released a NCCIC (National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center) memo written last month that flags interest in Industrial Control Systems by Anonymous. While there is clear interest, the DHS doubts that the loosely associative group currently has the skills to seriously disrupt ICS stability.

“The loosely organized hacking collective known as Anonymous has recently expressed an interest in targeting industrial control systems (ICS). While Anonymous recently expressed intent to target ICS, they have not demonstrated a capability to inflict damage to these systems,” the bulletin says.

“The information available on Anonymous suggests they currently have a limited ability to conduct attacks targeting ICS. However, experienced and skilled members of Anonymous in hacking could be able to develop capabilities to gain access and trespass on control system networks very quickly.”

In the NCCIC  memo, the DHS focused on was a Twitter message that published the results of “browsing the directory tree for Siemens SIMATIC software.”

“The posted xml and html code reveals that the individual understands the content of the code in relation to common hacking techniques to obtain elevated privileges. It does not indicate knowledge of ICS; rather, it indicates that the individual has interest in the application software used in control systems,” the bulletin explained.

In short, the data posted to Twitter was likely selected to cause panic, as it offered just enough detail that anyone who knows ICS setup and design would take notice. Likewise, the memo said there is no evidence of an actual breach of any ICS systems.


Related Reading: Industrial Control Systems Security One Year After Stuxnet

Related Reading: Bridging the Air Gap: Examining Attack Vectors into Industrial Control Systems

Related Reading: Are Industrial Control Systems Secure?

Related Reading: How to Make the Smart Grid Smarter than Cyber Attackers

Related Reading: The Increasing Importance of Securing The Smart Grid

Related Reading: Stuck on Stuxnet – Are Grid Providers Prepared for Future Assaults?


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