“What We Have Here… Is A Failure To Communicate” Stuxpocalypse and FUDDERY
FUD FUD FUD PUFFERY!
Once again I find myself having to respond to chicken little dullards spewing FUD across the internets to make themselves muy importante. Once more I have to say that the current FUD du jour on STUXNET and the fact of just how many SCADA systems are online is getting tedious. So, Mr. Wright, yet again I have to school you on the facts and disabuse you of the idea that you are correct in your thinking.
So you say that SCADA is online… I never said they were’nt frankly. If you look closely at the sentence I actually say *crosses fingers* I KNOW that there are systems online and available to the internet TODAY, a simple Shodan search for Siemens Simatic PLC systems turns up 25 hits in the US alone. So, yes Mr. Wright, they are online and I knew this. I also was saying tongue in cheek that I had hoped that more of them would not be so readily available and that the people involved in management were taking care to remove the systems from non air gap networks.
Yes Craig, there is a problem, but, it is not of the EPIC proportions that you seem to be ascribing to as a member of the Langer echo chamber.
So Craig, your experiences, while not the outside the norm of mine and others in the business (inclusive of pentesting systems within airframe and engine facilities inclusive of SCADA used to control engines) has little bearing on the contention at the root of Mr. Langers diatribe about a “stuxpocalypse” In short, in order to have the “mass casualties” scenario he is crying about, the Stuxnet variants would have to be as varied as the number of makers of PLC systems out there. Just as the actual payload file to make a fire sale scenario happen would geometrically increase to have to become its own form of bloatware.
No Craig, I just don’t see it all happening. I see perhaps pockets of localized attacks on systems, but I do not see a large power failure as much as I see someone making the poop factory spill waste into the water systems. Quite simply, as I was trying to point out Langer is spreading a large amount of FUD in an attempt to garner attention.. Much like I think you have been with your posts on Island that have been.. Well, lackluster at best. It would seem by my reading, that you only comprehend half of what is said and then regurgitate the FUD interspersed with your own experiences.
Let me enlighten you some more..
I have also been told that it’s too expensive, or it’s not important, or it’s not on our agenda as well when it comes to remediation’s that I have recommended to companies, agencies, or governments. We all have, I know this. However, the point I was making was that post Stuxnet, I had hoped that all of these people were taking a new look and remediating the problems that we all know are there. I am not foolish enough to think that everything has an air gap and that all those systems connected to the SCADA themselves are fully patched. This does not mean though, that I think we have to be chicken little here and run around being the “Langer who cried wolf”
Which, you seem to be falling into that category Craig. Which once again makes me think that you are less of a source I would listen to, and perhaps this is why these people you speak of have not taken your advice.
Just an opinion Craig.
So, back to the problem at hand other than your puffery…
SCADA systems are all too often connected to non air gap networks. We all know this. Let me tell you a secret *this one’s for you Craig* Some of them even have WIRELESS connectivity! *yes, its true!*
So, do I think it is a problem? Yes. Do I think that there are so many of these systems online and readily available that we will have a fire sale as Mr. Langer would imply?
Could someone (either state or hacktivist or miscreant) do something to select systems fairly easily if there are not remediations?
Would the world end and there would be mass casualites?
All of the systems at play have some redundancy built into them. Am I worried about a meltdown at a nuclear facility *Chernobyl style* if someone messes with some Simatic PLC’s?
Why? Because the systems are redundant and deliberately so. Stuxnet did not cause a meltdown, it was not that kind of network. Stuxnet took out some centrifuges. Could someone infect a network/facility to the point of making all redundant systems fail and cause a meltdown in a nuke plant?
Maybe, but that is really pushing it.
So, sure, there are problems. I know this, you know this, we all know this. However, there is no need to go around whining about how no one will listen to you because you are whining pathetically about no one listening to you. All of this being done on the media who embellishes and uses the FUD to sell air time as well as makes it even worse! It would be better to just shut up and say I told you so than to add to the cacophony of FUD which will inure the masses into apathy.
So, where do we go from here?
As I mentioned before, the picture is bigger than whether or not SCADA systems (whether they be Xp, Windows 98, or NT 3.5.1) *shudder* Old, unpatched, or otherwise vulnerable systems still pose a large threat whether or not they are internet accessible (directly) The fact that physical access had to be had in order to load Stuxnet and then had a feature (p2p) built in as well as a re-infection vector for USB in general, shows that it was a rather complex effort. If someone were able to modify the payload to work on other systems and use it in a phishing exploit, sure, we would have many more potentially infected systems. However, unless they create the uber package I mentioned at the top of this piece, it would take a fair amount of footprinting to find the exact models and firmware being used. Not impossible, but not easy either.
See, its more about defense in depth (or should be) than it is “THE SKY IS FALLING!!”
Do changes need to happen?
One hopes that they are, but all of this debate and going off half cocked is pointless… And that was my main point.. Which you utterly failed to comprehend Craig. It just goes to show, no matter how many acronyms and letters you have after your name, or how big your bio at the bottom of articles online, do not really mean you have a grasp of the situation.