4 Types of Cyber Attacks Targeting Manufacturers

The manufacturing industry is not a new target for cyber attacks, but it is experiencing new kinds of attacks. Here’s how to protect your operations.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.automationworld.com

Those attacks are:

* Drive-by Downloads. “In this type of attack, malware is installed on a person’s computer or other device as soon as they visit a compromised website,” says Weber. “This website may be criminally controlled/hosted or it could be a legitimate and widely used website which you’d never suspect to be the source of an infection.”

* Cross-Site Scripting. Like the drive-by download, cross-site scripting (or XSS) takes advantage of legitimate websites to conceal its attack. But the XSS doesn’t install malware on the computer. “Instead, it steals all stored login credentials and passwords from within the browser,” Weber says. “Consequently this attack could expose a manufacturer to considerable harm, allowing attackers to gain access to key online accounts, network control and access, machinery system access, client and vendor portals, bank accounts and more. In most cases, XSS is an attack that is delivered over email using a legitimate-looking URL to execute the attack.”

* Watering Hole Attack. Weber notes that hackers typically have a specific company or industry in mind when they set up this kind of attack. “They find a website regularly visited by employees of that company or industry and inject malicious code into it that will target visitors,” he says. “Once employees of the targeted company visit the website, they are infected either through a drive-by download attack or ‘malvertising,’ which is when malware is delivered through a third-party advertising network on a website.”

* Wrappers. A wrapper is a type of malware concealed inside a legitimate software program to make it undetectable. Weber explains that every software program has a signature that tells you what it is. Malware has a signature too. “Antivirus and intrusion detection systems work by checking incoming code to see if the signatures match any known malware,” he says. “If detected, the harmful program is caught and isolated. However, hackers have figured out that if you can change the code, you can beat the detection tool. Wrappers are a key part of this because, instead of seeing this malware for what it is, a detection tool will think it’s something legitimate—like a PDF, Word doc, a computer game or utility tool.”

To thwart these types of attacks, Weber says manufacturers have to adopt “a very robust defense-in-depth approach, that is equally devoted to prevention and post-breach mitigation.”

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