Posted: September 19th, 2022


DQ6. 100-150 WORDS

Research a country or organization that has had their SCADA system compromised. What could they have done to prevent the hacker from gaining access?


A Willie Hatfield

When researching I found a site that had a good many cyber-attacks. One attack was from Illinois.

“Last week, portions of a report titled “Public Water District Cyber Intrusion” assembled by an Illinois terrorism early warning center were published online. Media outlets quickly picked up on the described incident, calling it the “first successful target of a cyber attack on a computer of a public utility.” But in an email dispatch sent to state, local and industry officials late today, DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) said that after detailed analysis, DHS and the FBI have found no evidence of a cyber intrusion into the SCADA system of the Curran-Gardner Public Water District in Springfield, Illinois” (, 2011).

A good way to prevent this would apply a two-factor authentication. Working on an air force base we have security cards that have to be inserted into the computer and also have a 6-digit pin to even access a computer. Then to acquire internet access the network reads our card credentials and also asks for our 6-digit pin. Without one or the other access is impossible. 

B Marcelino Del Bosque

Dell detected an alarming movement of SCADA infrastructure attacks aimed on their buffer overflow vulnerabilities. Worldwide, 37.5 million SCADA infrastructure attacks were recorded in 2014, double the amount of that in 2013. These attacks came as a consequence of improper restriction of operations within the bounds of a memory buffer, improper input validation, information exposure, resource management errors, improper neutralization of input during web page generation and vulnerabilities related to permissions, privileges, and access controls. Dell Security annual threat report indicated a few ways to minimize these threats. Making sure all software and systems are up to date, only allowing connections with approved IPs, and following operational best practices for limiting exposure.

C Eric Hoff

Cyberattacks against SCADA systems frequently take place through the company’s corporate network, where they then impact the operation’s remote control system. However, the opposite happened in 2013, when hackers gained access to a third party that looked after the HVAC management system at Target Store. The attackers want to steal Target’s credit card information. They did it by using the building control systems of Target to get access to its business network. The cash registers throughout Target’s chain of stores were then uploaded with malicious credit card theft software. Target will have to pay $309 million in total as a result of the hack, security improvements, and legal actions. Affected were 70 million consumers (9 et al., 2014). All of these expenses were the bottom line of taking advantage of a building automation system. A few HVAC monitoring programs make use of an outdated Java version. It appears that the program is not kept up to date. Additionally, it’s usual for businesses to simply link their HVAC systems to the rest of their network. A dial-back system or a separate network would be the best practices for any SCADA system. The hackers didn’t really have a choice between compromising Target’s HVAC system and stealing millions of credit cards.


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