Security experts from Trend Micro have discovered several vulnerabilities in the communication protocols used by cranes, hoists, drills and other industrial machines.
The experts found vulnerabilities in products from several vendors, including Saga, Juuko, Telecrane, Hetronic, Circuit Design, Autec, and Elca.
The flaw could be exploited by remote attackers to carry out cyber attacks.
Machines used in transportation, manufacturing, construction, and mining sectors often use radio frequency (RF) protocols. RF controllers are composed of a transmitter and a receiver that communicates via radio waves.
Trend Micro researchers analyzed RF controllers in lab environment and in the real scenarios demonstrating the presence of the flaws and the associated risks.
The experts tested 14 devices across the world, and all of them were vulnerable to one of the attacks conducted by the experts.
The five types of attacks tested by the experts are
Below two PoC videos published by Trend Micro experts.
Most of the flaws discovered by the experts are related to unprotected communications between the transmitter and the receiver, an attacker could exploit the issues to capture traffic and spoof commands.
“Our research reveals that RF remote controllers are distributed globally, and millions of vulnerable units are installed on heavy industrial machinery and environments. Our extensive in-lab and on-site analysis of devices made by seven popular vendors
“They are vulnerable to command spoofing, so an attacker can selectively alter their behavior by crafting arbitrary commands — with consequences ranging from theft and extortion to sabotage and injury “
The experts demonstrated how to carry out the attacks remotely by using a small, battery-powered device planted in
“Our research shows that there is a discrepancy between the consumer and industrial worlds. In the consumer world, the perceived risks have pushed the vendors to find reasonably secure, albeit imperfect, solutions such as rolling codes.” reads the report. “In the industrial world, where the assets at risk are much more valuable than a fancy house or car, there seems to be less awareness.”
(SecurityAffairs – RF protocols, hacking)