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Amsterdam, Netherlands | Sun, Sep 21 - Sat, Sep 27, 2014
This event is over,
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Assessing and Exploiting Control Systems

Tue, September 23 - Sat, September 27, 2014

Very practical information from an industry expert facilitator. With a lot of ideas in a 5-day course. Excellent!

Ravindranath Goswami, PowerGen

You won't find this kind of material in other training options. Also the labs look great.

David Jimenez, Pemex

This is not your traditional SCADA security course! This course teaches hands-on penetration testing techniques used to test embedded electronic field devices, network protocols, RF communications, and controlling servers of ICS and Smart Grid systems like PLCs, RTUs, smart meters, Home Area Networks (HAN), smart appliances, SCADA, substation automation, and synchrophasors. This course is structured around the formal penetration testing methodology created by the National Energy Sector Cybersecurity Organization Resource (NESCOR), a United States Department of Energy project. Using this methodology and SamuraiSTFU (Security Testing Framework for Utilities), an open source Linux distribution for pentesting energy sector systems and other critical infrastructure, we'll perform hands-on penetration testing tasks on embedded electronic field devices, their RF communications, and the myriad of user interfaces used throughout smart grid systems. We will tie these techniques and exercises back to the smart grid devices that can be tested using these techniques. We will also do exercises on dissecting and fuzzing smart grid protocols like modbus, DNP3, IEC 61850, ICCP, ZigBee, C37.118, and C12.22. The course exercises will be performed on a mixture of real world and simulated devices to give students the most realistic experience as possible in a portable classroom setting.


SANS Hosted are a series of classes presented by other educational providers to complement your needs for training outside of our current course offerings.

Course Syllabus

Don Weber
Tue Sep 23rd, 2014
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Introduction to the NESCOR methodology for penetration testing

  • Preparing for a penetration test
  • Architecture reviews
  • Pentesting the master servers
  • Pentesting the user interfaces
  • Pentesting the network communications
  • Pentesting the embedded field devices
  • End-to-end assessment
  • Reporting

Architecture Reviews of major ICS and smart grid systems and protocols

  • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
  • Distribution Grid Management (DGM) and Substation Automation (SA)
  • Wide Area Management, Protection, and Control (WAMPAC)
  • Demand Response (DR)
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
  • Electric Vehicles (EV)

Introduction to SamuraiSTFU (Security Testing Framework for Utilities)

  • Setting up the virtual machine
  • Walk through the tools and functionality
  • Introduction to the student hardware kits

Performing traditional network pentests on control systems

  • Overview of a traditional network penetration test methodology
  • Dangers of port and vulnerability scanning
  • Strategies to perform port and vulnerability scanning
  • Hands-on network pentesting of master servers

Don Weber
Wed Sep 24th, 2014
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Type of ICS user interfaces

  • Traditional applications
  • Web applications
  • Terminal interfaces

User interface mapping

  • Hands-on request/response mapping and baselines
  • Hands-on technology fingerprinting
  • Hands-on functional analysis
  • Hands-on process flow modeling

Vulnerability discovery

  • Hands-on default configuration testing
  • Hands-on authentication testing
  • Hands-on session management testing
  • Hands-on authorization testing
  • Hands-on business logic testing
  • Hands-on input injection testing

Application exploitation

  • Identifying attack avenues
  • Vulnerability exploitation
  • Exploitation cleanup

Don Weber
Thu Sep 25th, 2014
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Different levels of network communication penetration testing

  • Testing of network mediums vs network protocols
  • Where security defenses should be place...and tested

Serial communications

  • RS-485 and RS-232
  • Modbus RTU
  • 16-bit unsigned registers and single bit coils

Pentesting RF communications between master servers and field devices

  • Hands-on RF spectrum analysis and signal capture
  • Spread Spectrum types and strategies
  • Hands-on signal demodulation with GNU Radio
  • Hands-on network traffic extraction
  • Traffic transmission and exploitation

Pentesting TCP/IP based ICS protocols

  • Protocol capture and analysis
  • modbus, DNP3, IEC 61850, ICCP, ZigBee, C37.118, and C12.22
  • Dealing with unknown protocols
  • Hands-on entropy analysis of network payloads
  • Reverse engineering unknown protocols
  • Hands-on ICS protocol fuzzing

Don Weber
Fri Sep 26th, 2014
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Pentesting technician interfaces on ICS field and floor devices

  • Functional analysis of field technician interfaces
  • Hands-on exercise capturing USB communications to tech interfaces
  • Hands-on exercise analyzing captured USB communications
  • Impersonating endpoints in field tech interface communications
  • Hands-on exercises fuzzing AMI Smart Meter c12.18 optical interfaces
  • Exploiting vulnerabilities found during analysis

Analyzing field and floor device firmware

  • Obtaining field and floor device firmware
  • Hands-on exercise disassembling firmware
  • Hands-on exercise analyzing disassembled firmware
  • Exploiting firmware flaws

Overview of pentesting field and floor device embedded circuits

  • Local attack through physically exposed devices
  • Expanding physical attacks to remote attacks
  • Cryptographic keys and firmware

Analysis of embedded electronics in ICS field and floor devices

  • Discussion of device disassembly
  • Component analysis on embedded circuits
  • Datasheet acquisition and analysis for target components

Don Weber
Sat Sep 27th, 2014
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Dumping data at rest on embedded circuits

  • Using the Bus Pirate and other similar tools
  • Overview of I2C or two-wire serial protocol
  • Hands-on exercise dumping I2C EEPROMs
  • Overview of SPI serial protocol
  • Hands-on exercise dumping SPI EEPROMs
  • Overview of JTAG
  • Hands-on exercise interfacing with JTAG

Bus Snooping on embedded circuits

  • Overview of bus snooping
  • Hands-on exercise snooping busses

Analyzing data obtained from data dumping and bus snooping

  • Hands-on exercise doing string analysis of datasets
  • Hands-on exercise doing entropy analysis of datasets
  • Hands-on exercise doing systematic key searches through datasets
  • Hands-on exercise doing file carving from datasets

End-to-end analysis and reporting

  • Strategies for end-to-end analysis after targeted pentesting
  • Strategies for reporting and remediation recommendations


Additional Information

  1. Laptop with at least two USB ports (three ports preferred). If you only have two USB ports and they are right next to each other, you will need to bring a USB extension cable.
  2. Latest VMware Player, VMware Workstation, VWware Fusion installed. Other virtualization software such as Parallels or VirtualBox will probably work if the attendee is familiar with its functionality, however VMware Player should be prepared as a backup just in case.
  3. Ability to disable all security software on their laptop such as Antivirus and/or firewalls
  4. At least twenty (20) GB of hard drive space
  5. At least four (4) GB of RAM

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact

Basic penetration testing experience is desirable, but not required. It is assumed that attendees will have no knowledge of ICS, Smart Grid, SCADA, or critical infrastructure. This course is designed for intermediate level security professionals, be they developers, managers, or penetration testers.

Recommended Reading before the Course - Great introduction to pentesting embedded electronic hardware

Course Objectives

  1. Attendees will be able to explain the steps and methodology used in performing penetration tests on Industrial Control and Smart Grid systems.
  2. Attendees will be able to use the free and open source tools in SamuraiSTFU to discover and identify vulnerabilities in web applications.
  3. Attendees will be able to exploit several hardware, network, user interface, and server-side vulnerabilities.

  1. Power for your laptop
  2. Internet connectivity may or may not be available depending on the facility hosting the course
  3. Latest version of SamuraiSTFU (Security Testing Framework for Utilities)
  4. PDF version of the course slide deck
  5. Student hardware kits to use in class that must be returned at the end of class
  6. List of hardware items in the student kits and links to where students can purchase their own kits