Hacking an Industrial Control Network

Published by Jack Hunter   – June 4, 2012
Categories: Viruses, Worms and Threats

The other day just out of curiosity I did a Google search for "How to Hack an Industrial Control System". The search resulted in over 900,000 results. Several of the top results referred to the group Anonymous. Anonymous is associated with collaborative, international hacktivism. Leapin' Lizards.

So I did some research into the group Anonymous. These folks are interested in attacking the industrial control systems behind energy, biotechnology and oil businesses, according the Department of Homeland Security.

They issued a bulletin that states that "The loosely organized hacking collective known as Anonymous has recently expressed an interest in targeting industrial control systems (ICS)." Fortunately they (Anonymous). Have not demonstrated a capability to inflict damage to these systems. However they have been able to harass and embarrass their targets.

However the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) noted:

• On July 11, 2011 a suspected Anonymous member posted information describing an attack on websites for Monsanto, a biotechnology company. The post writer claimed that, "over the last two months we have pushed the exposure of hundreds of pages of articles detailing Monsanto's corrupt, unethical, and downright evil business practices."

• On July 12, 2011 Anonymous released a report and called for protests along a Montana highway against the Alberta Tar Sands project for being a corrupt member of "Big Oil." Protestors came to Montana's state capitol on July 13.

• On July 19, 2011 an Anonymous member tweeted code obtained from browsing the directory of a piece of Siemens software. The person claimed access to and control over the company's systems.

NCCIC concludes that Anonymous has limited capabilities but could grow more sophisticated.

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