No discussion on ICS attacks could be complete without talking about what some would call, ‘the elephant in the room.’
Critical infrastructure has always been a target for warfare, and modern ICS are no exception. Several high-profile ICS disruptions have in fact been attributed to malicious hackers working at the behest of a military or intelligence agency.
Looking at Examples of APTs
The potential impact of a wartime ICS cyber incident is hard to understate. ICS war games such as the Aurora Generator Test in 2007 have demonstrated that skilled attackers can cause lasting physical damage to industrial equipment. In that case, simulated attackers rapidly opened and closed protective relays out of sync with the attached diesel generators and ultimately caused the generator to tear itself apart, leaving behind a smoking pile of rubble.