If your company is classified as a critical infrastructure facility, and, your disaster preparedness team is looking for updates on the status of cyber attack threats against industrial control systems, our staff recommends adding a copy of a recent report entitled “Malware Infections in the Control Environment ” (ICS-CERT, December 2012)  to your company’s cybersecurity threats related reading resource library.

This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report revealed that industrial control systems, which are used to monitor and control critical infrastructure facilities, were hit with 198 documented cyberattacks in 2012, and that the majority of these attacks were the result of serious breaches.  Forty percent (40%) of the reported and documented attacks affected energy firms with water supply source firms coming in second, with fifteen (15%) of the attacks focused on them.

An additional concern discovered last year by researchers using the Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network (SHODAN) search engine pointed to the fact that sensitive information on the supervisory control and data analysis (SCADA) system(s) were definitely accessed by the attackers and still vulnerable to an attack, and, and in November, independent security firm researchers found almost fifty vulnerabilities in existing SCADA products.

Unfortunately, this report also stated that suppliers were not the only ones to expose security issues. The report indicated that one researcher who used the SHODAN search engine in order to find Internet-accessible industrial control systems discovered about 20,000 systems which could be accessed through the Internet.

Clearly this report indicates that more work is needed to address these areas of critical infrastructure cybersecurity threat(s).

Click here to read the press release on this report by DHS.

Click here to get more detailed information about this report entitled “Malware Infections in the Control Environment”.

If applicable, please pass this information along to other cyber security information control specialists where you work as well as to those network cyber security risk management teams within your community.

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