Friday, December 2, 2011

Follow-up on Illinois Water Pump Hack Case

This isn't pretty, but it would be good if you knew the whole, emerging, story. My recent post said it wasn't an international cyber attack ... or a cyber attack at all, and that we had been through yet another round of grid security FUD.

But the truth seems to be worse that that. I've got a fuller picture now, having had some contact with Joe Weiss who is, for better or worse, in the thick of it. Here's yesterday's post from his Unfettered Blog:
This story would be funny if it wasn't so scary. Wired magazine has broken the real story (or the latest iteration of the real story). The link is here. So it wasn't evil hackers from Russia after all. From the sound of it, more like a Keystone Cops fire drill. Nobody checked with anybody. Lots of people assumed things they shouldn't have assumed, and now it's somebody else's fault and we're into a finger-pointing marathon.
Securing our infrastructure is complicated and tough enough as it is, without self-inflicted wounds of this type. From what I could see, the water pump control system in question was a complete security mess, connectivity and configuration-wise. It's connection to the web easily visible with Shodan.

Don't know Shodan yet? You should. Seriously. Here's a nice intro from John Matherly on it. If you're an asset owner and you can see your system on Shodan, you've got some work to do. 

And if you're part of a government or industry org charged with getting information out to help keep owners and operators appraised of threats, please do a great job. We're depending on you.