SCADA system security

SCADA system vulnerabilities... Regarding your item about "Square D Powerlogic Ion EEM" dated 09/11/08 on www.controleng.com. My name is Bob Radvanovsky, and am the owner/moderator to the SCADASEC mailing list, an openly-available discussion forum discussing impacts resulting from vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, there were several vulnerabilities found with the CitectSCADA application, spec...

10/01/2008


SCADA system vulnerabilities...

Regarding your item about "Square D Powerlogic Ion EEM" dated 09/11/08 on www.controleng.com .

My name is Bob Radvanovsky, and am the owner/moderator to the SCADASEC mailing list, an openly-available discussion forum discussing impacts resulting from vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, there were several vulnerabilities found with the CitectSCADA application, specifically "in the ODBC server service, vulnerable organizations that do not require ODBC connectivity may disable the service with no adverse effects to the CitectSCADA software. Installations that require ODBC connectivity to SQL databases, spreadsheets, etc., will suffer loss of connection with ODBC data sources if this workaround is applied. Vulnerable organizations should obtain positive verification that ODBC connectivity is not necessary in their installation and prepare appropriate contingency procedures before the workaround is applied." (taken from the US-CERT notification at www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/476345 )

This particular vulnerability has been discussed in great detail on our mailing list, and there are more coming out. You may want to notify your readers that there are vulnerabilities with Citect's software. How this affects Square D products, I do not know, but am currently investigating this with our membership on the list. Additionally, I invite you to join the mailing list to see—first-hand—what is discussed regarding SCADA and control systems security related issues. Should you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Bob Radvanovsky, CIFI, CISM, REM, CIPS
Infracritical, Inc. www.infracritical.com
rsradvan@infracritical.com

...Citect response

Citect released a patch in June for the vulnerability found by Core Security Technologies and has since made a number of other changes to improve our security processes, products and capabilities.

Revised measures underway include, but are not limited to, an independent code audit, the provision of customer site review capabilities, and a new security knowledgebase with RSS feed. We have presented at conferences (both internal and external), held webinars and updated our security whitepapers to highlight to customers the importance of securing their control systems. In addition to revised internal security handling processes, we remain committed to working closely with security agencies, customers and partners to ensure that the installed base of Citect systems are protected from security breaches.

In addition, Citect will soon release a new version of CitectSCADA that applies further enhanced security measures to the software.

Since the original publication of the vulnerability relating to ODBC connectivity, we have been working with customers to encourage, and help them, apply the patch. To date, no customers have reported security breaches.

In the 21-year period over which Citect has been designing SCADA software, we have recommended to customers that they follow industry best practices in the development and implementation of control systems. In relation to security measures, our position on SCADA and process control network security is that, like any business systems, they must have the same, if not better, protection from unauthorized access. They must be secured by robust protection including firewalls, intrusion detection systems and VPNs. Further information on security can be found on our website, www.citect.com .

Stephen Flannigan
Global Director CitectSCADA
Citect www.citect.com

A security expert adds to the discussion

The ODBC buffer overflow vulnerability is one of many reasons to be concerned about the state of security within the industry, and particularly critical infrastructure. Recently, this specific vulnerability had its exploit code added to the Metasploit framework. This is a very important benchmark in the information security arena, considering that we have seen 10-year-old children successfully operate the Metasploit framework.

Ultimately, one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations regarding these types of events is that they must ensure: a) they have mechanisms established to become aware of such events in a timely fashion; b) they have the core competencies/expertise to understand the implications of such events; and c) they have the operational efficiencies and business processes to react to such events as expeditiously as possible. This is not an easy endeavor in any vertical, specifically in the "build once and only modify only if broken" environment that is typical in industry. We find that this is often the case regarding mainstream process control systems (DCS/SCADA).

While I understand there will always be scenarios that can not be prevented, it is mission-critical for organizations to have mechanisms in place to support proactive security operations.

Key questions related to proactive security operations that organizations should address include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Do you currently have a means to become aware of new vulnerabilities impacting your infrastructure immediately after such vulnerabilities are publicized?

  • Are you applying a defense in depth approach to your information security operations to minimize the likelihood of security breaches?

  • How turnkey are your change management and control, configuration management, and patch management processes once changes, configuration updates and/or patches become necessary?

  • Is the documentation for your systems architecture currently readily available and completely representative of the current state of your network infrastructure, control systems, etc.?

  • Are you operating in the presence of a sufficiently robust security incident response management framework? Has the framework ever been tested and validated?

Matthew E. Luallen, managing partner
Encari, mluallen@encari.com

Matt Luallen and his partner Steve Hamburg have begun the Industrial Cyber Security blog, available through www.controleng.com . There you will find the latest news and advice about securing industrial networks and creating proactive security operations. You also can bring Matt and Steve your questions about DCS/SCADA security.

In search of switch specifics

In your article (“Automation, IT Find Teamwork Pays, August 2008) on p.64, there is a picture of an Allen-Bradley switch. Can you tell me the model number so that I can get some information on its specifications?

Mark W. Daniels, Utilities-Cogen Operations
Eastman Chemical Co.
mdaniels@eastman.com

Thank you for your question. It is in the Stratix 8000 line of Rockwell Automation’s modular managed switches.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.