Articles

Cryptomining in ICS

New technology now allows operators of industrial infrastructure such as oil and gas platforms, mine sites, manufacturing plants and utilities to have remote visibility and control over their production processes.  The disadvantage of this new technology is that it provides avenues for cybercriminals to exploit.  Therefore, advanced cyber security techniques are required to ensure the operating environment remains safe and secure from malicious actors who are always innovating to achieve their aims. This article discusses a new technique that normally …
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Honeypot technology

There is a growing importance placed on detection technologies in both threat research and damage mitigation. In every war, intelligence is of the utmost importance for deployment of resources and exploitation of an adversary. The cyber battlefield is no different, as discovery and understanding of the enemies’ avenue for attack is the best method for preventing damage to an organisation. The adversary is also changing, from opportunistic broad-spectrum attacks to more targeted, developed threats. In the cybersecurity arena, forensic analysis …
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Cybersecurity principles for industrial environments

Industrial Control Systems (ICS) have traditionally been isolated from a company’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. This inherent isolation essentially created an ‘air gap’ between the ICS and IT environments. Such a basic defence posture is now no longer effective due to the increased integration of ICS devices into the IT network. Organisations rolling out extensive digitisation programs that use IT network technologies to enhance productivity, reduce costs and increase safety are now at risk of cyber-attack. This integration of technologies …
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A look at the Triton attack

In December 2017, the world found out about a sophisticated attack on the control systems of an LNG plant, known as ‘TRITON’. The attack caused the entire operation to shut down and is one of the many examples in recent years of malicious software designed specifically to target industrial equipment. In the decade since the infamous Stuxnet malware destroyed many centrifuges of an Iranian uranium plant, numerous attacks against many critical infrastructure sectors have been discovered with the intent to …
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The strategic value of Australian Universities to cyber criminals and nation state actors

The cybersecurity practices of Australian universities are in the spotlight after the recent significant breach of Australian National University’s (ANU) IT systems. The FBI has published that up to 26 Australian universities were targeted in a sustained hacking campaign between 2013-2017, believed to have been funded by the Iranian government. Such attacks are proof of the value placed by cyber criminals and other nation states on intellectual property, business data, social data, and private information held by Australian universities. Key …
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Threats to our critical assets are real: just how vulnerable are we and what should we be doing?

In 2016, a water treatment plant in the US was the victim of a sophisticated and methodical attack, where cyber criminals remotely took control over the treatment process and threatened to poison households. In 2017, the Triton malware attack caused a complete shutdown of an LNG plant in the Middle East. In Australia, recent reports have highlighted just how vulnerable systems that provide water to homes in Queensland are. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is now delivering additional cyber …
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