[ISN] Researcher Challenges Siemens' Public Reaction To New SCADA Flaws

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 00:13:04 -0500 (CDT)

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Dark Reading 
May 23, 2011

A researcher who late last week pulled his planned public presentation 
on some newly discovered and deadly SCADA bugs contends that Siemens is 
unfairly attempting to publicly downplay the flaws and the nature of 
their exploitability.

Dillon Beresford, a researcher with NSS Labs, canceled his talk at 
TakedownCon 2011 in Dallas at the eleventh hour due to concerns about 
the contents' possible risk to human life. He had planned to reveal 
vulnerabilities and proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code for flaws in 
Siemens SCADA industrial-control systems products.

Details of the research and on the bugs themselves are being closely 
held by Beresford, his colleagues, ICS-CERT, and Siemens, but the 
description of the so-called "Chain Reactions—Hacking SCADA" 
presentation certainly raised alarm and interest: "Combining traditional 
exploits with industrial control systems allows attackers to weaponize 
malicious code, as demonstrated with Stuxnet. The attacks against Iran's 
nuclear facilities were started by a sequence of events that delayed the 
proliferation of nuclear weapons.

"We will demonstrate how motivated attackers could penetrate even the 
most heavily fortified facilities in the world, without the backing of a 
nation state," the description continues. "We will also present how to 
write industrial grade malware without having direct access to the 
target hardware. After all, if physical access was required, what would 
be the point of hacking into an industrial control system?"


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Received on Mon May 23 2011 - 22:13:04 PDT

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