Cybersecurity researchers next week will demonstrate how hackers can potentially wreak havoc on critical US infrastructure, even causing explosions by altering the readings on wireless sensors used by the oil and gas industry.

The presentations at the Black Hat conference will show how key industries remain vulnerable to cyber attacks, in part because companies are reluctant to replace expensive equipment or install new safeguards unless ordered to do so by regulators or offered economic incentives, experts say.

“We’ve got this cancer that is growing inside our critical infrastructure. When are we going to go under the knife instead of letting this fester?” said Patrick C. Miller, founder of the nonprofit Energy Sector Security Consortium.

“We need to restructure some regulations and incentives.”

The new research on wireless sensors found flaws in the way they handle encryption, Lucas Apa and Carlos Mario Penagos of security consulting firm IOActive Inc said.

They said they could contact some of the sensors with radio transmissions from as far as 40 miles (64 km) away and alter pressure, volume and other readings. If the overall control systems act on those readings without a failsafe, the researchers said, they could permanently disable a pipeline or plant.

The sensors typically cost $1,000 or $2,000 and are deployed in the hundreds or thousands at a single oil, gas or water processor. The researchers said the flaws were found in devices supplied by three of the largest vendors in the field, but declined to identify them.

Penagos said most refineries that have the capability to monitor gas levels or temperature probably have the vulnerable devices in place. In some cases the sensors have a design flaw, while in other cases the customers installed them insecurely.

Either way, “the entire industrial process could be disabled or modified by disrupting the physical sensors,” Apa said.

Source: One News

Got stuck with research paper writing? The following site PapersMart helps with research papers online with its professional writers.



NETGEAR XS712T 12 Port ProSAFE 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch #1 picture
NETGEAR XS712T 12 Port ProSAFE 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch #1
$799.99


APC 8-Port Multi Platform Analog High Density KVM Switch AP5201 Rack Ears & Cord picture
APC 8-Port Multi Platform Analog High Density KVM Switch AP5201 Rack Ears & Cord
$29.99


Durock T1 lubed tribosys 3204 and filmed tactile switches (pack of 70) picture
Durock T1 lubed tribosys 3204 and filmed tactile switches (pack of 70)
$88.88


Lot of 2 Linksys EtherFast 8 & 16 Port External Workgroup Switch & power supply picture
Lot of 2 Linksys EtherFast 8 & 16 Port External Workgroup Switch & power supply
$18.0


NetGear GS308P 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch with 4-Port PoE  -QTY* picture
NetGear GS308P 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch with 4-Port PoE -QTY*
$33.05


NEW BELKIN DATA TRANSFER SWITCH F1B024E picture
NEW BELKIN DATA TRANSFER SWITCH F1B024E
$0.99


Cisco WS-3750G-24T-S 24 port switch picture
Cisco WS-3750G-24T-S 24 port switch
$30.99


BOYI 60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard RGB Cherry MX Blue Switches White Base Color picture
BOYI 60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard RGB Cherry MX Blue Switches White Base Color
$27.7