BugTraq
CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to Internet Worm' Aug 14 2003 10:18PM
Geoff Shively (gshively pivx com) (3 replies)
Re: CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to Internet Worm' Aug 15 2003 06:49PM
Virtual Master (vmaster mmd ath cx)
Re: CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to Internet Worm' Aug 15 2003 06:18PM
Yannick Van Osselaer (yannick vanosselaer pi be)
Re: CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to Internet Worm' Aug 15 2003 06:09PM
Bernie, CTA (cta hcsin net) (1 replies)
Re: CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to Internet Worm' Aug 15 2003 06:21PM
Geoff Shively (gshively pivx com) (1 replies)
This email was origionaly posted to bugtraq early on in the 'crisis' but due
to obvious congestion and instability issues it wasnt posted for a while.

Since this post I have done much research on SCADA, DCS, and HMI
(Human Machine Interface) systems. These systems run primarily
on Windows and rely on RPC for remote monitoring. If this doesnt
sound like an overwhealiming coincidance than I dont know what does.

[ http://216.239.37.104/search?q=cache:w7lnOBBrPxUJ:st-div.web.cern
.ch/st-div/ST2001WS/Proceedings/Session42/Sollander.pdf+SCADA+
Windows+RPC&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

"The data transmission layer is used to transport data from the equipment
to at least one controlor monitoring application. This is usually done by
remote procedure calls (RPC) or a middle-wareover a TCP/IP network."
- CERN ]

There has been much talk about this on DShield and Full Disclosure if
anyone is interested in reading more.

Cheers,

Geoff Shively, CHO
PivX Solutions, LLC

Are You Secure?
http://www.pivx.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bernie, CTA" <cta (at) hcsin (dot) net [email concealed]>
To: <bugtraq (at) securityfocus (dot) com [email concealed]>
Cc: "Geoff Shively" <gshively (at) pivx (dot) com [email concealed]>
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2003 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: CNN: 'Explores Possibility that Power Outage is Related to
Internet Worm'

> It is ridiculous to accept that a lightning strike could knock
> out the grid, or the transmission system is over stressed. There
> are many redundant fault, limit and Voltage-Surge Protection
> safeguards and related instrumentation and switchgear installed
> at the distribution centers and sub stations along the Power
> Grid that would have tripped to prevent or otherwise divert such
> a major outage.
>
> I believe that the outage was caused by the MSblaster, or its
> mutation, which was besieged upon the respective vulnerability
> in certain control and monitoring systems (SCADA and otherwise)
> running MS 2000 or XP, located different points along the Grid.
> Some of these systems are accessible via the Internet, while
> others are accessible by POTS dialup, or private Frame relay and
> dedicated connectivity.
>
> Being an old PLC automation and control hack let me say that
> there is a very good plausibility that the recent East Coast
> power outage was due to an attack by an MBlaster variant on the
> SCADA system at the power plant master terminal, or more likely
> at several of the remote terminal units "RTU". SCADA runs under
> Win2000 / XP and the telemetry to the RTU is accessible via the
> Internet.
>
> From what I recall SCADA based monitoring and control systems
> were installed at many water / sewer processing, gas and oil
> processing, and hydro-electric plants.
>
> I also believe that yesterdays flooding of a generator sub-
> facility in Philadelphia was also due to an MBlaster variant
> attack on the SCADA or similarly Win 2000 / XP based system.
>
> To make things worst, the Web Interface is MS ActiveX. Now lets
> see, how can one craft an ActiveX vuln vector into the blaster?
>
> Oh, and for the wardrivers, SCADA can be access via wireless
> connections on the road. puts a new perspective on sniffing
> around sewer plants.
>
> It is also reasonable to assume that we could have a similar
> security threat regarding those system (SCADA and otherwise
> based on MS 2000 or XP) involved in the control, data
> acquisition, and maintenance of other critical infrastructure,
> such as inter/intra state GAS Distribution, Nuclear Plant
> Monitoring, Water and Sewer Processing, and city Traffic
> Control. IMO
>
> I think we will see a lot of finger pointing by government
> agencies, Utilities, and politicians for the Grid outage, until
> someone confess to the security dilemma and vulnerabilities in
> the systems which are involved in running this critical
> infrastructure.
>
> Regardless of whether the Grid outage can be attributed to the
> blaster or its variant, this is not entirely a Microsoft
> problem, as it reeks of poor System Security Engineering
> practiced by the Utility Companies, and associated equipment and
> technology suppliers.
>
> Nonetheless, the incident will cause lots of money to be
> earmarked by the US and Canadian Governments, to be spent in an
> attempt to solve the problem, or more specifically calm the
> public.
>
> This incident should be fully investigated, and regulations
> passed to ensure that the Utility companies and their suppliers
> develop and implement proper safeguards that will help prevent
> or at least significantly mitigate the effects of such a
> catastrophe.
>
> Conversely, I do not want to see our Government directly
> involved in yet another "business", which has such a controlling
> impact over our individual lives.
>
> -
>
>
>
>
> On 14 Aug 2003 at 15:18, Geoff Shively wrote:
>
> > Just flipped on CNN, watching the masses snake through the
> > streets of Manhattan as correspondents state that this could be
> > an affect of the blaster worm.
> >
> > Interesting but I don't see how an worm of this magnitude
> > (smaller than that of Slammer/Sapphire and others) could
> > influence DCS and SCADA systems around the US, particularly just
> > in the North East.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Geoff Shively, CHO
> > PivX Solutions, LLC
> >
> -
> ****************************************************
> Bernie
> Chief Technology Architect
> Chief Security Officer
> cta (at) hcsin (dot) net [email concealed]
> Euclidean Systems, Inc.
> *******************************************************
> // "There is no expedient to which a man will not go
> // to avoid the pure labor of honest thinking."
> // Honest thought, the real business capital.
> // Observe> Think> Plan> Think> Do> Think>
> *******************************************************
>
>
>

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