Poor Password Security Lead to Recent Water Treatment Facility Hack

New aspects have emerged about the distant personal computer intrusion at a Florida drinking water treatment facility final Friday, highlighting a lack of suitable safety measures necessary to bulletproof essential infrastructure environments.

The breach, which transpired previous Friday, concerned an unsuccessful attempt on the aspect of an adversary to increase sodium hydroxide dosage in the h2o offer to hazardous stages by remotely accessing the SCADA method at the drinking water remedy plant. The system’s plant operator, who noticed the intrusion, speedily took measures to reverse the command, main to negligible affect.

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Now, in accordance to an advisory released on Wednesday by the point out of Massachusetts, unidentified cyber actors accessed the supervisory command and information acquisition (SCADA) program by means of TeamViewer computer software mounted on 1 of the plant’s several computer systems that ended up linked to the management program.

Not only have been these personal computers running 32-little bit versions of the Windows 7 running technique, but the equipment also shared the exact same password for distant entry and are said to have been exposed immediately to the Online without having any firewall defense put in.

It truly is worth noting that Microsoft Windows 7 reached conclusion-of-lifetime as of final year, on January 14, 2020.

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Including to the woes, additional typically than not, lots of little public utilities are saddled with getting old infrastructure, and the IT departments tend to be below-resourced, lacking in finances and abilities to upgrade their security posture and tackle vulnerabilities in a well timed fashion.

“Restrict all remote connections to SCADA units, exclusively people that let physical management and manipulation of devices inside the SCADA network,” Massachusetts point out officers explained. “One-way unidirectional monitoring gadgets are proposed to keep an eye on SCADA techniques remotely.”

“Retain pcs, products, and purposes, like SCADA/industrial handle systems (ICS) application, patched and up-to-date,” the warn cautioned, introducing “use two-aspect authentication with potent passwords.”

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