Security researchers have reported 147 vulnerabilities in 34 mobile applications used in conjunction with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These vulnerabilities could enable a hacker to compromise industrial network infrastructure by allowing them to disrupt an industrial process or cause a SCADA operator to unintentionally perform a harmful action on the system. IT security experts commented below.
John Kozyrakis, Applied Research Lead at Synopsys:
“The identified vulnerabilities (no hardening against reverse engineering, poor network channel security, use of insecure SD card storage and others) are fairly common across all types of mobile applications and not particularly specific to SCADA related applications.
The alarming part is that the presence of such simple to find vulnerabilities indicates an almost complete disregard for security best practices by the software developers. All these issues could have been mitigated if some form of security testing or code review had been performed on the applications prior to their release.
SCADA organisations, and their application vendors, should strive hold their applications to a higher standard and implement a robust secure software development lifecycle which includes secure design, code auditing and security testing of the applications.”
Andrea Carcano, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Nozomi Networks:
“There is heightened awareness globally amongst hackers, researchers and companies. In turn, we’re seeing increased volumes and sophistication of security issues identified. Against this rising awareness all parties are working hard to improve security and protect devices, networks and data. We have a dedicated department whose sole focus is to identify SCADA vulnerabilities. In the last four months alone we have alerted ICS CERT to several zero day vulnerabilities so that the security of those devices improves. As more vulnerabilities and security issues are brought into the open a larger cyber security community is forming that is willing to share its expertise and knowledge with a common goal to identify, raise awareness, and provide solutions to cybersecurity challenges.”