US warning: Hackers have built tools to attack these key industrial control systems

Hackers have developed custom tools to gain full system access to a number of industrial control system (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices, according to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

The warning comes in a joint cybersecurity advisory released by the Department of Energy (DOE), CISA, the NSA, and the FBI that urges all critical infrastructure operators to immediately bolster the security of their ICS/SCADA devices and networks. 

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The custom-made tools have been developed for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) from Schneider Electric and OMRON Sysmac NEX, as well as Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) servers.

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CISA says the tools allow for “highly automated exploits” against targeted devices.  

ICS security firm Dragos, which has studied the tools, dubs it Pipedream, the seventh-known piece of ICS-specific malware following Stuxnet, Havex, BlackEnergy, Crashoverride, and Trisis. It attributes the malware to an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor it calls Chevronite. 

“Pipedream is a modular ICS attack framework that an adversary could leverage to cause disruption, degradation, and possibly even destruction depending on targets and the environment,” Dragos explains

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