The GasPot Experiment: Cyberattacks targeting gas pumps


TrendMicro_logoYet another important aspect of our economy is being targeted by cybercriminals. Gas retailers in the U.S. have been aware of the physical risks tied to their businesses for many years, and have heavily invested in the necessary equipment to protect their assets. Now these electronic monitoring systems that defend against physical crises are attractive targets for cybercriminals.

To better understand the nature behind this threat landscape, Trend Micro researchers devised a way to mimic the Internet-facing components of automatic tank-gauging (ATG) systems for gas tanks to determine what attracts attackers to these systems. This essentially created a gas tank monitoring honeypot, or “GasPot.”

This report, debuted at Black Hat 2015, fully details the results of this GasPot experiment. Highlights include:

  • SCADA system weaknesses are very attractive to members of cybercriminal underground forums
  • GasPots deployed in the U.S. accounted for 44 percent of the targeted attacks
  • One GasPot in Washington, D.C. was targeted by a distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack
  • If an attack on an Internet-connected gas tank were to happen, anything from pranks, to reconnaissance, extortion schemes and even small-scale sabotage is possible

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