The recent TRITON malware attack against a critical infrastructure organization sought to modify and manipulate industrial safety systems with the intention of causing potentially catastrophic physical damage. ICS systems create an interface between physical and digital environments, meaning that the repercussions of an unhandled failure can be fatal.
The TRITON campaign can be divided into two conceptual phases. First, the attackers managed to gain remote access to an engineering workstation attached to the SIS (Safety Instrumented System) network, after which they deployed a program that was masquerading as a legitimate application produced by a critical control and system safety supplier. The attackers successfully subverted traditional network defenses. Once they had established this foothold, they opted to delve deeper into the network and perform detailed reconnaissance – the second phase of the attack. Thankfully, they accidentally triggered a partial system failure which the internal security team investigated and remediated.
Read about the implications of the TRITON malware attack, which shows that traditional demilitarized zones, heavy network segregation and multiple firewalls are definitively not sufficient to protect the essentially defenseless machines that make up ICS networks, on Information Security Buzz.