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Serious Cyber Advisory Issued Regarding U.S. Critical Infrastructure. This week, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Energy (DoE) issued an urgent Joint Advisory warning “certain advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have exhibited the capability to gain full system access to multiple industrial control system (ICS)/supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices.”  On Twitter, Nicole Perlroth, the author of the much-acclaimed book on cyberattacks, entitled This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, translated the meaning of the Advisory starkly as follows: “New … state hackers are infecting U.S. critical infrastructure – like grid operators – with custom tools capable of worst-case scenario attacks.  There’s no soft peddling it. This is very serious. Read [CISA’s] advisory in full. And do everything they say.”  A link to her tweet follows:

The Advisory contains a myriad of technical details about the threat actors’ tools and the specifically targeted devices, along with suggested steps for mitigation and other resources.  It also suggests actions to take “today” to protect ICS/SCADA devices:

  • ·       Enforce multifactor authentication for all remote access to ICS networks and devices whenever possible.

  • ·       Change all passwords to ICS/SCADA devices and systems on a consistent schedule, especially all default passwords, to device-unique strong passwords to mitigate password brute force attacks and to give defender monitoring systems opportunities to detect common attacks.

  • ·       Leverage a properly installed continuous OT monitoring solution to log and alert on malicious indicators and behaviors.

You can (and should) insist that your cybersecurity/IT professionals – read the Advisory and act to protect vulnerable ICS/SCADA devices.  A link to the Advisory follows:

Hosch & Morris, PLLC is a boutique law firm dedicated to data privacy and protection, cybersecurity, the Internet and technology. Open the Future℠.