Rogue Master Device
|Rogue Master Device|
|Tactic||Evasion, Impair Process Control|
|Data Sources||Sequential event recorder, Asset management, Network protocol analysis, Packet capture|
|Asset||Human-Machine Interface, Control Server, Engineering Workstation|
Adversaries may setup a rogue master to leverage control server functions to communicate with slave devices. A rogue master device can be used to send legitimate control messages to other control system devices, affecting processes in unintended ways. It may also be used to disrupt network communications by capturing and receiving the network traffic meant for the actual master device. Impersonating a master device may also allow an adversary to avoid detection.
In the Maroochy Attack, Vitek Boden falsified network addresses in order to send false data and instructions to pumping stations.1
- Communication Authenticity - Protocols used for control functions should provide authenticity through MAC functions or digital signatures. If not, utilize bump-in-the-wire devices or VPNs to enforce communication authenticity between devices that are not capable of supporting this (e.g., legacy controllers, RTUs).
- Network Allowlists - Use host-based allowlists to prevent devices from accepting connections from unauthorized systems. For example, allowlists can be used to ensure devices can only connect with master stations or known management/engineering workstations.2
- Software Process and Device Authentication - Devices should authenticate all messages between master and outstation assets.
- Network Segmentation - Segment operational assets and their management devices based on their functional role within the process. Enabling more strict isolation to more critical control and operational information within the control environment.3425
- Filter Network Traffic - Perform inline allowlisting of automation protocol commands to prevent devices from sending unauthorized command or reporting messages. Allow/denylist techniques need to be designed with sufficient accuracy to prevent the unintended blocking of valid reporting messages.
- Marshall Abrams. (2008, July 23). Malicious Control System Cyber Security Attack Case Study– Maroochy Water Services, Australia. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Department of Homeland Security. (2016, September). Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- Karen Scarfone; Paul Hoffman. (2009, September). Guidelines on Firewalls and Firewall Policy. Retrieved September 25, 2020.