Exploitation of Remote Services
|Exploitation of Remote Services|
|Tactic||Initial Access, Lateral Movement|
|Data Sources||Windows error reporting, Process monitoring, File monitoring|
|Asset||Human-Machine Interface, Data Historian, Engineering Workstation|
Adversaries may exploit a software vulnerability to take advantage of a programming error in a program, service, or within the operating system software or kernel itself to enable remote service abuse. A common goal for post-compromise exploitation of remote services is for initial access into and lateral movement throughout the ICS environment to enable access to targeted systems.1
ICS asset owners and operators have been affected by ransomware (or disruptive malware masquerading as ransomware) migrating from enterprise IT to ICS environments: WannaCry, NotPetya, and BadRabbit. In each of these cases, self-propagating (“wormable”) malware initially infected IT networks, but through exploit (particularly the SMBv1-targeting MS17-010 vulnerability) spread to industrial networks, producing significant impacts.2
- Bad Rabbit initially infected IT networks, but by means of an exploit (particularly the SMBv1-targeting MS17-010 vulnerability) spread to industrial networks.2
- NotPetya initially infected IT networks, but by means of an exploit (particularly the SMBv1-targeting MS17-010 vulnerability) spread to industrial networks.2
- Stuxnet executes malicious SQL commands the WinCC database server to propagate to remote systems. The malicious SQL commands include xp_cmdshell, sp_dumpdbilog, and sp_addextendedproc.3
- WannaCry initially infected IT networks, but by means of an exploit (particularly the SMBv1-targeting MS17-010 vulnerability) spread to industrial networks.2
- Application Isolation and Sandboxing - Make it difficult for adversaries to advance their operation through exploitation of undiscovered or unpatched vulnerabilities by using sandboxing. Other types of virtualization and application microsegmentation may also mitigate the impact of some types of exploitation. Risks of additional exploits and weaknesses in these systems may still exist.4
- Disable or Remove Feature or Program - Ensure that unnecessary ports and services are closed to prevent risk of discovery and potential exploitation.
- Exploit Protection - Security applications that look for behavior used during exploitation such as Windows Defender Exploit Guard (WDEG) and the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to mitigate some exploitation behavior.5 Control flow integrity checking is another way to potentially identify and stop a software exploit from occurring.6 Many of these protections depend on the architecture and target application binary for compatibility and may not work for all software or services targeted.
- Network Segmentation - Segment networks and systems appropriately to reduce access to critical system and services communications.
- Privileged Account Management - Minimize permissions and access for service accounts to limit impact of exploitation.7
- Update Software - Update software regularly by employing patch management for internal enterprise endpoints and servers.
- Vulnerability Scanning - Regularly scan the internal network for available services to identify new and potentially vulnerable services.
- Threat Intelligence Program - Develop a robust cyber threat intelligence capability to determine what types and levels of threat may use software exploits and 0-days against a particular organization.
- Enterprise ATT&CK. (n.d.). Exploitation of Remote Services. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- Joe Slowik. (2019, April 10). Implications of IT Ransomware for ICS Environments. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- Nicolas Falliere, Liam O Murchu, Eric Chien. (2011, February). W32.Stuxnet Dossier (Version 1.4). Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- Dan Goodin. (2017, March). Virtual machine escape fetches $105,000 at Pwn2Own hacking contest. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- Microsoft Security Response Center. (2017, August). Moving Beyond EMET II – Windows Defender Exploit Guard. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- Wikipedia. (n.d.). Control-flow integrity. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- Keith Stouffer. (2015, May). Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security. Retrieved March 28, 2018.