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August 2021. Entire botnets of IoT devices are targeting decades-old and legacy equipment that resides widely in the systems that power critical infrastructure.
Most operational technology (OT), the computer systems to manage industrial operations, and industrial control systems (ICS) used in datacenters and similar critical infrastructures are often decades old. The fact that many vulnerabilities have been revealed recently isn’t because they weren’t there before, they’ve always been there.
The reality is that attackers have never really looked for these vulnerabilities. Nowadays, however, this is happening at an exponential rate.
The reason: record ‘ransomware’ fees are being paid by OT/ICS companies. A successful attack can take weeks to recover from, so the impact is huge. The west coast of the US did not have fuel for days because Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down the operation itself after the ransomware attack. Apparently they were not convinced that the OT environment was sufficiently protected and wanted to prevent greater damage.
It is more important than ever to have a good overview of all connected devices and especially which components can disrupt critical business services. If you know what you have, you can mitigate vulnerabilities.