Friday, October 7, 2016

Industrial Control Systems 2016 Report: Connected and Vulnerable

Industrial control systems (ICS) are part and parcel of everyday life, from smart homes to nuclear power stations. ICS bridge the gap between the digital world and the physical world by interpreting the commands that control turbines, switches, valves, and more. Because these systems are complex, critical to infrastructure, and often Internet-connected, they make a very tempting target for hackers.

The number of vulnerable ICS components grows every year. Nearly half of the vulnerabilities identified in 2015 are high-risk – and the majority of vulnerabilities were found in the products of the most well-known vendors. Widespread poor security practices, such as default passwords and dictionary-guessable passwords, make it easy for outsiders to access the systems and gain control.

These are the sobering conclusions of research by Positive Technologies, which analyzed data on ICS vulnerabilities from 2012 to 2015, as well as information on the Internet availability of ICS components in 2015. Below is a summary of the findings.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Online Banking Vulnerabilities: Authorization Flaws Lead the Way

Online banking (OLB) systems are publicly available web and mobile applications, so they suffer from vulnerabilities typical of both applications and banking systems. Bank-specific threats include theft of funds, unauthorized access to payment card data,  personal data and bank secrets, denial of service and many other attacks that can trigger significant financial and reputation losses.

This report synthesizes statistics that were gathered during OLB security audits performed by Positive Technologies in 2015. Comparison with the results obtained in 2013 and 2014 vividly illustrates the dynamics of information security development in modern OLB systems.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Attacking SS7: Mobile Operators Security Analysis

The interception of calls is quite a challenging task, but not only intelligence services can pull it off. A subscriber may become a victim of an average hacker who is familiar with the architecture of signaling networks. Commonly known SS7 vulnerabilities allow for the interception of phone calls and texts, can reveal a subscriber’s location, and can disconnect a mobile device from a network.

In 2015, Positive Technologies experts conducted 16 sets of testing involving SS7 security analysis for leading mobile EMEA and APAC operators. The results of the top three projects are included in the statistics below. In this article, we will review the security level experienced by mobile network subscribers, as well as all industrial and IoT devices — from ATMs to GSM gas pressure control systems, which are also considered mobile network subscribers. This article describes detected issues and suggests ways to counter threats.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pattern language for a universal signature-based code analyzer

The process of signature-based code analysis in PT Application Inspector is divided into the following stages:
  1. Parsing into a language dependent representation (abstract syntax tree, AST).
  2. Converting an AST to a language (agnostic) unified format.
  3. A direct comparison with patterns described in the DSL.

The present article focuses on the third stage, namely: ways of describing patterns, development of a custom DSL language, which allows to describe patterns, and patterns written in this language.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Web Application Vulnerabilities-2016: Users Unprotected

Modern web technologies allow businesses to solve organizational issues cost-effectively and efficiently and demonstrate their services and products to a wide range of audiences through the Internet. However, attackers may exploit websites as an easy access point to company infrastructure. This can cause financial and reputational damage, and despite well documented incidents involving compromised security, developers and administrators still pay little attention to the security of web applications.

Positive Technologies experts examine around 300 web applications each year using various techniques from instrument to source-code analysis. This report provides a summary of statistics and findings gathered during penetration testing of web applications in 2015. It also compares 2015 results to those in 2013 and 2014 and tracks the dynamics of web application development in the context of delivering information security.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tree structures processing and unified AST

The previous article in this series discussed the theory of source code parsing in ANTLR and Roslyn. The article pointed out that a signature-based code analysis in PT Application Inspector is divided into the following stages:
1.        Parsing into a language dependent representation (abstract syntax tree, AST).
2.        Converting AST to a language independent unified format (unified AST, UAST).
3.        A direct comparison with patterns described in the DSL.
The current article focuses on the second stage that includes AST processing using Visitor and Listener strategies, converting AST to a unified format, simplifying an AST, and the algorithm for matching tree structures.


          AST Traversing
         Visitor and Listener
         Grammar and Visitor in ANTLR
          Types of nodes in a unified AST
          Testing of converters
          Simplifying an UAST

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Positive Technologies Expert Helped to Protect ABB Digital Substations from Cyberattacks

Image credit: ABB    

 ABB, a Switzerland-based company that produces software for control systems in the energy industry, has acknowledged that its PCM600 suffers from four vulnerabilities related to insecure password storage. The one who detected and reported them to the vendor was Ilya Karpov, an ICS security expert from Positive Technologies.

As noted in the ICS-CERT advisory, the ABB engineer software for industrial automation management (protective relay, IED) is deployed in electric power substations around the world. PCM600s up to and including version 2.6 suffer from the vulnerabilities found by Ilya Karpov. Exploiting these flaws allows a low-skilled attacker or malicious software access a local machine that has ABB's PCM600 installed, reconfigure a project or obtain critical information to leverage read and write access via OPC.