It has been reported that researchers at Trend Mirco built a honeypot that mimicked the environment of a real factory. The fake factory featured some common cybersecurity vulnerabilities to make it appealing for hackers to discover and target. Trend Micro launched the honeypot in May last year, purposefully setting it up with weaknesses like Virtual Network Computing (VNC) without control access, unsecured outward-facing remote desktop ports, and using the same password for workstations across the network. To further entice potential hackers towards the exposed online systems, researchers ‘leaked’ information about vulnerabilities in the systems. And it wasn’t long before cyber criminals were attracted towards the MeTech honeypot and attempting to infiltrate it.
Once again we are reminded of the growing prevalence and persistence of attackers targeting critical infrastructures and OT environments. Utilities, manufacturing companies and other critical operational networks are an attractive target for cybercriminals, and the consequences of not investing in industrial cybersecurity could be numerous and severe.
It is imperative that organisations put plans in place that will prevent malicious attacks. To achieve cyber resilience within a highly automated and intelligent operational environment without compromising efficiency, organisations should deploy OT and IoT network monitoring solutions and apply artificial intelligence and machine learning for real-time detection and response to malware threats.