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Identifying infected energy systems in the wild

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Forthcoming
Publication date15/04/2019
Host publicationTenth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
Original languageEnglish
EventTenth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy) - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: 25/06/201928/06/2019
Conference number: 10
https://energy.acm.org/conferences/eenergy/2019/

Conference

ConferenceTenth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy)
Abbreviated titleACM e-Energy 2019
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ
Period25/06/1928/06/19
Internet address

Conference

ConferenceTenth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy)
Abbreviated titleACM e-Energy 2019
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ
Period25/06/1928/06/19
Internet address

Abstract

The 2016 Mirai outbreak established an entirely new mindset in the history of large-scale Internet attacks. A plethora of Mirai-like variants have emerged in the last two years that are capable to infiltrate any type of device. In this paper we provide a 7-month retrospective analysis of Internet-connected energy systems that are infected by Mirai-like malware variants. By utilizing network measurements from several Internet vantage points, we demonstrate that a number of energy systems on a global scale were infected during the period of our observation. While past works have studied vulnerabilities and patching practises of ICS and energy systems, little information has been available on actual exploits of such vulnerabilities. Hence, we provide evidence that energy systems relying on ICS networks are often compromised by vulnerabilities in non-ICS devices (routers, servers and IoT devices) which provide foothold for lateral network attacks. Our work offers a first look in compromised energy systems by malware infections, and offers insights on the lack of proper security practices for systems that are increasingly dependent on internet services and more recently the IoT. In addition, we indicate that such systems were infected for relatively large periods, thus potentially remaining undetected by their corresponding organizational units.