The infamous XENOTIME Hacking group expanded its target beyond oil and gas to the electric utility sector. XENOTIME threat actor group responsible for TRITON malware that is capable of causing physical damage and inadvertently shut down operations.
XENOTIME group uses to focus on oil and gas related industries: starting in late 2018, the group expands it’s targets to the electric utility organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere.
“Dragos identified a persistent pattern of activity attempting to gather information and enumerate network resources associated with U.S. and Asia-Pacific electric utilities.”
Initial stages of infection start with reconnaissance and initial access operations, followed by login attempts with credentials through possible credential “stuffing” method or using stolen usernames and passwords.
“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern.”
The XENOTIME group successfully compromised several oil and gas environments, which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. They are known for targeting in safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes.
XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape.
The targeting of critical infrastructure to disrupt, degrade, or destroy systems is consistent with numerous attack and reconnaissance activities carried out globally by Russian, Iranian, North Korean, the U.S., and Israeli nation-state actors.
Industrial management systems (ICS/SCADA) are now the prime target for cyber attackers seeking to compromise the production base and public utilities.
Cybersecurity is a vital part of the process and infrastructure industry operations. Industrial Network security refers to the protection of internal components and system from internal and external malicious attacks to maintain the Availability, Integrity, and Confidentiality.