SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) is a type ICS that monitors and controls industrial processes like power plants, water management systems and manufacturing plants. This system uses sensors, control devices, as well as communication networks, to remotely monitor and control the processes.
SCADA systems are critical infrastructure system that manage essential services like electricity, water, or transportation. They are susceptible to cyber attacks that can cause disruption or compromise of the systems. SCADA hacking is the unauthorised access to and control of SCADA systems via cyber attacks.
There are many ways to hack into SCADA systems.
- Network vulnerabilities: SCADA systems depend on communication networks to exchange data, and control signals. These networks are susceptible to attacks like packet sniffing, man-in the-middle (MITM), denial-of-service (DoS), and man-in-the middle (MITM). DoS attacks are designed to flood the network with traffic in order to disrupt its operations. MITM attacks target communication between two parties, altering or manipulating data. To gather sensitive information, packet sniffing is the capture and analysis of network traffic.
- Physical access: SCADA systems are often equipped with physical control devices, such as remote terminal units (RTUs), and programmable logic controllers. These can be accessed by hackers and modified. Social engineering techniques or physical access to the control devices can give you physical access.
- Malware: Malware can infect SCADA systems and give hackers access to the system. Malware can be sent via email attachments, websites or software downloads.
- Remote access: SCADA systems have often been designed to allow authorized users remote access. Hackers could use these remote access capabilities to gain unauthorised access to the system.
- Insider threats: Authorized access to SCADA systems by insiders can pose a threat. Intentionally or unintentionally, insiders can compromise the system by installing malware, changing system configurations, sharing sensitive information with unauthorized persons, and other ways.
SCADA hacking can be prevented by implementing security measures like network segmentation, firewalls and intrusion detection system. Regular updates and patches of software and firmware are essential. It is also necessary to establish strict access controls and authentication protocols. Security assessments and penetration testing are also helpful in identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in SCADA systems.
SCADA hacking is the unauthorised access to and control of SCADA systems via cyber attacks. These systems can be hacked using a variety of techniques, such as network vulnerabilities, physical and remote access, malware, insider threats, and other malicious software. SCADA hacking can be prevented by implementing security measures and periodically testing the system for potential vulnerabilities.