Cybersecurity: Protecting your Industrial Control System

May 1, 2016

In December 2015, 80,000 homes in the Ukraine were left without power when a cyber attack took down the electrical infrastructure. Investigations suggest that hackers used malware in conjunction with remote access to industrial control systems to directly interact with control systems, infect workstations and servers with malware, damage control-system hosts on workstations and servers, and block calls to customer call centers that would have alerted power companies to the outages.

A year prior, a German steel mill was the victim of a cyber attack. Investigations revealed that attackers used a spear phishing campaign — an email that appears to be from an individual or business known to the recipient, but isn’t. Instead, its from hackers who want financial, personal or login information found on that user’s PC. The attack was aimed at particular individuals in the company to trick them into opening malicious links. The opening of the links provided hackers with login information that granted them access to the plant’s network and control systems, resulting in failure of parts of the plant and the inability to properly shut down a blast furnace, causing “massive damage” to the equipment.

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