2 Ağustos 2017 Çarşamba

Wind Farms and Ransomware?

Well yes. They are not only composed of three rotating propellers and a very long white body as seen from outside. It can sound weird but they have also operating systems and they are connected to a central management system via a software. Oh! I am talking about wind farms.
 
Wind farms can be handled as IoT devices but because they generate electricity they can be also handled as critical infrastructure. These farms can be defined the less critical part of critical infrastructure concept.
20th of Blackhat conferences was held on 26th-27th July 2017 in Las Vegas this year. In one of the sessions, cybersecurity of the wind farms are asessed according to ransomware attacks: https://www.pcmag.com/news/355223/wind-farms-are-not-ready-for-ransomware
 
It seems that wind farms are not so resistant against cyber attacks and which makes them vulnerable to ransomware attacks. They can be used as a part of DDoS attacks as poorly configured IoT devices or they can be shut down to prevent generating electricity which will cause critical financial loss. Their most important advantage against the cyber attacks is that most of the wind famrs are not connected to internet but there are ways to breach such systems.
Underlined exprerssios from the article above:
 
His team found that these massive devices run a variety of operating systems, some wildly out of date and susceptible to known vulnerabilities. This includes everything from embedded Windows CE, Windows 95, various flavors of Linux, and some real-time OSes.
 
"If you can own one of them you can own them all," said Staggs.
 
Staggs outlined not just a method for attack, but a monetization plan as well. Taking inspiration from ransomware attacks, he imagined a scenario whereby attackers shut down a wind farm and demand payment in order to return it to normal operation. At the current price of electricity, a wind farm loses $10,000 to $30,000 for every hour it's not in operation, he said.
 
Second, simple security measures would completely mitigate the attacks. "If you have something in place where you could VPN traffic between turbine and the substations, it prevents everything I just outlined," said Staggs."