USB Device remains a top threat vector for malware-based attacks targeting Industrial Control Systems. According to a report published by Honeywell, USB device represents a major threat.
The report was based on the Secure Media Exchange that analyzes USB in the industrial facilities. The data collected are from Industries representing Oil & Gas, Energy, Chemical
Manufacturing, Pulp & Paper, and other industrial manufacturing facilities.
USB Device – Threat Vectors
According to SMX analysis report around 44% of threats detected and blocked represents a security issue. The data indicates high and consistent threats through USB targeting industrial facilities.
Of those threats blocked by SMX, 1 in 4 (26%) had the potential to cause a major disruption to an industrial control environment, including loss of view or loss of control, and 16% were targeted specifically against Industrial Control System (ICS) or Internet of Things (IoT) systems, reads the threat report.
With the total number of malicious files detected, trojans representing 55% and 11% of the malicious files are bots.
Of the malware discovered, 9% was designed to directly exploit USB protocol or interface
weaknesses, making USB delivery even more effective especially on older or poorly configured computers that are more susceptible to USB exploits.
RATs are used in 32% of attacks that enables attackers to download and install additional malware and 15% attacks were classified targeting to exploit a specific system or application.
The evidence of a relatively high percentage of threats that targeted ICS, that were capable of impacting ICS, and that exhibited persistence, validates current best practices of deploying strong network defenses and perimeters around critical areas.