According to USB Threat 2020 report of Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity, which was released this week, there is a significant increase in attacks carried out through USB against industrial control systems.
The report includes data from the company's security platform, Secure Media Exchange (SMX) USB, the last twelve months. These data come from companies operating in the fields of oil and gas, energy, chemicals, food, shipping, buildings, aerospace, paper and construction in 60 countries in America, The Europe and Asia.
As the data analysis showed, at least one threat was detected in 45% of the industrial sites using the product, a number that indicates an increase of 44% found in the company's previous report in 2018.
Of the malware found, 11% was specifically designed to target industrial systems. However, 59% of them malware identified could cause significant problems in the operation of industrial systems, compared with only 26% discovered in the previous survey. However, the rate of 11% increases to 28% if we also take into account ransomware, which increasingly targets business technology (OT) systems.
The malicious programs that have been on the rise lately are trojans, worms, rootkits and viruses. In contrast, there is a reduction in potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), non-targeted bots, spyware, adware and tools hacking.
The most common threats observed by the company were RATs, backdoors and droppers.
As Honeywell put it: "This makes sense: in industrial environments where network access is difficult, getting access via USB to create remote access and download new malware is a good strategy for an intruder."