Electricity, oil and gas and other critical infrastructure vital to our everyday lives is increasingly at risk from cyber attackers who know that successfully compromising industrial control systems (ICS) and operational technology (OT) can enable them to disrupt or tamper with vital services.
A report from cybersecurity company Dragos details ten different hacking operations which are known to have actively targeted industrial systems in North America and Europe – and it’s warned that this activity is likely to grow in the next 12 months.
The list includes several state-backed hacking operations, such as Electrum – also known as Sandworm – which is linked to the Russian military, Covellite, which is linked to North Korea’s Lazarus Group, and Vanadinite, which is lined to APT 41, a hacking operation working on behalf of China.
As more critical infrastructure is connected to the internet or accessible to staff by remote desktop protocols and VPNs, it’s increasingly becoming a target for nation-state backed hackers and cyber criminal gangs interested in breaching and examining OT networks to lay the groundwork for future campaigns.
“A lot of this is increasing appetite to be in those places – typically from state-sponsored operations – where they want capability where they could have