Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

9/10/2019
01:00 PM
100%
0%

US Power Grid Cyberattack Due to Unpatched Firewall: NERC

A firewall vulnerability enabled attackers to repeatedly reboot the victim entity's firewalls, causing unexpected outages.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reports that a cyberattack on the US power grid earlier this year was caused by a target entity's network perimeter firewall flaw.

On March 5, 2019, an incident targeted a "low-impact" grid control center and small power generation sites in the western US, according to an E&E News update. No signal outages lasted longer than five minutes, and the disruption didn't cause any blackouts. Still, the 10-hour attack was great enough to prompt the victim utility to contact the US Department of Energy.

A "Lesson Learned" post from NERC says attackers exploited a vulnerability in the web interface of a vendor firewall, enabling attackers to repeatedly reboot the devices and cause a denial-of-service condition. The unexpected reboots let to communication outages in firewalls that controlled communication between the control center and multiple remote generation sites, and between equipment on these sites. All firewalls were network perimeter devices.

Analysis revealed the target utility hadn't installed a firmware update that would have patched the vulnerability, and the outages stopped when the patch was applied. The victim reviewed its process for assessing and implementing firmware updates and has chosen to implement a more formal, frequent review of vendor updates monitored by internal compliance tracking software.

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Phishers' Latest Tricks for Reeling in New Victims"

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
US Turning Up the Heat on North Korea's Cyber Threat Operations
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  9/16/2019
MITRE Releases 2019 List of Top 25 Software Weaknesses
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/17/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "He's too shy to invite me out face to face!"
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15138
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
The html-pdf package 2.2.0 for Node.js has an arbitrary file read vulnerability via an HTML file that uses XMLHttpRequest to access a file:/// URL.
CVE-2019-6145
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
Forcepoint VPN Client for Windows versions lower than 6.6.1 have an unquoted search path vulnerability. This enables local privilege escalation to SYSTEM user. By default, only local administrators can write executables to the vulnerable directories. Forcepoint thanks Peleg Hadar of SafeBreach Labs ...
CVE-2019-6649
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
F5 BIG-IP 15.0.0, 14.1.0-14.1.0.6, 14.0.0-14.0.0.5, 13.0.0-13.1.1.5, 12.1.0-12.1.4.1, 11.6.0-11.6.4, and 11.5.1-11.5.9 and Enterprise Manager 3.1.1 may expose sensitive information and allow the system configuration to be modified when using non-default ConfigSync settings.
CVE-2019-6650
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
F5 BIG-IP ASM 15.0.0, 14.1.0-14.1.0.6, 14.0.0-14.0.0.5, 13.0.0-13.1.1.5, 12.1.0-12.1.4.1, 11.6.0-11.6.4, and 11.5.1-11.5.9 may expose sensitive information and allow the system configuration to be modified when using non-default settings.
CVE-2014-10396
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
The epic theme through 2014-09-07 for WordPress allows arbitrary file downloads via the file parameter to includes/download.php.