Thousands of Industrial Energy Systems can be Remotely Hacked

Thousands of Industrial Energy Systems can be Remotely Hacked

Homeland Security is warning US industrial power and energy plants that a common internet-connected device is vulnerable to a string of serious security vulnerabilities.

The ESC 8832 data controller, which allows a plant worker to see exactly how an industrial unit is working at a glance, could by trivially exploited by a “low skilled” attacker, the US government department’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) posted in an advisory.

"The device supports different accounts with distribution of system privileges. An attacker can gain access to functions, which are not displayed in the menu for the user by means of brute force of a parameter," said the advisory.

This is allowed because the internet-connect device has a web interface, which hackers can easily exploit to gain greater access to the device than intended.

Perhaps the worst part of the situation is the fact that the company that develops the software says this is a security concern they cannot patch. They said there is no code space to install a security patch for the system.

There are thought to be more than 4,000 units in the field, according to a newsletter dated late-2012.

The flaws were discovered by independent security researcher Maxim Rupp.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

  • Remembering 9/11 Remembering 9/11

    In this episode, Security Today Editor-in-Chief Ralph C. Jensen Talks with Steve Karoly about security and transportation issues, specifically airport, airline and passenger security. It is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA. Much has changed concerning security efforts about airport transportation security. The conversation talks about the role that technology plays in protecting the flying public and steps taken to ensure there hasn’t been a successful terrorist attack on a U.S. airliner since 9/11. Checkpoint and screening are evolving at a rapid pace, and the conversation centers on new measures and technologies that are being integrated into checkpoints.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - July August 2021

    July August 2021


    • Tee Up the Security
    • Listen Clearly
    • Turning to the Cloud
    • COVID-19 The Final Push
    • Redefining Security

    View This Issue

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure Solutions Group
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety