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Trend Micro Research detects multiple proof-of-concept attacks on connected systems
Hong Kong SAR – Media Utrich – May 28, 2021 – (;), A global leader in cybersecurity, has provided in-depth research highlighting new threats to 4G / 5G campus networks, many of which take advantage of the difficulty faced by organizations in correcting critical OT environments.
The report details multiple attack scenarios and potential mitigations, using a test environment designed to mimic the campus network of a smart factory.
To read “Attacks from 4G / 5G core networks: IoT risks in a campus network at risk ‘ Report, please visit: https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/hk/security/news/internet-of-things/the-transition-to-5g-security-implications-of-campus-networks .
“Manufacturers are at the forefront of spreading the Internet of Things, preparing for the 5G network to leverage the ubiquitous power of connectivity to drive greater speed, security and efficiency. But with new technology comes new threats that add to the old challenges,” said Yohei Ishihara, a security missionary at Trend Micro. As the report warns, many of them are stuck in a bind – unable to afford the downtime needed to correct critical system vulnerabilities that might otherwise be exploited. Fortunately, our extensive research also highlights multiple mitigations and best practices for protecting smart factories now and in the future. ”
The report identifies several key entry points for attackers to breach a basic 4G / 5G network:
- Servers hosting basic network services: Target vulnerabilities and weak passwords in these standard COTS x86 servers.
- Virtual devices or containers: It can also be detected if the last corrections are not applied immediately.
- Network Infrastructure: Devices are often overlooked during patching cycles.
- Base stations: It also contains firmware that needs updating from time to time.
Once the attacker enters the primary network from any of these entry points, he will attempt sideways traffic in an attempt to intercept and alter the network packets. By attacking industrial control systems in smart manufacturing environments like a test site, attackers can steal sensitive data, sabotage production, or impose ransomware on organizations.
Of the 11 attack scenarios described, one of the most potentially malicious ones includes targeting Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers, which are commonly used by IT and field engineers. Upgrading to 5G doesn’t protect RDP traffic automatically, so attackers can use this access to download malware and ransomware, or directly hijack industrial control systems. RDP v 10.0 is the most secure version and might provide some protection against these attacks, but again it can be difficult for organizations to upgrade.
Among the recommendations in the report for protecting 4G / 5G campus networks include:
- VPN or IPSec to protect remote communication channels, including remote sites and base stations
- Application Layer Encryption (HTTPS, MQTTS, LDAPS, encrypted VNC, RDP v10, secure industry protocols such as S7COMM-Plus)
- EDR, XDR, or MDR to monitor attacks, lateral movement within campus, and containerized core network
- Fitting network separation with VLAN or SDN
- Immediate patching, wherever possible, of servers, routers, and base stations
- Defect detection products, such as Trend Micro Mobile Network Security, that recognize the campus network and provide a robust way to disconnect unincorporated hardware / SIM pairs
Building a mobile network in an enterprise environment involves both end users as well as multiple stakeholders, including service providers and integrators. In addition, private 4G / 5G networks are large-scale infrastructure and have a long life, so once built, they are difficult to replace or modify. Therefore, it is essential to implement ‘security by default’ to identify and mitigate security risks at the design stage.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity, helps make the world safe for digital information exchange. With decades of security expertise, global threat research, and ongoing innovation, Trend Micro’s cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of people across the cloud, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform provides a robust set of advanced threat defense technologies optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees in 65 countries, Trend Micro allows organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.trendmicro.com.hk
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