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Defending the ICS Ahead of the Patch: WannaCry Lessons Learned

  • Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM EDT (2017-05-26 14:30:00 UTC)
  • Joe Slowik, Mike Assante, Ben Miller

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The WannaCry ransomware event attracted significant headlines for its rapid, indiscriminate spread and impact to critical services. The UK's National Health Service received the most attention, but institutions as varied as automotive manufacturers, rail service providers, and some U.S. utilities faced crippling impacts. Now that ransomware has moved beyond standard phishing and exploit kits, ICS defenders must take notice to ensure critical networks are prepared for the next 'wormable' threat. We will provide an overview of why WannaCry's self-propagation method represents a 'game changer' for ICS defenders and what related threat vectors future adversaries may take. The presentation will cover examples of assets that bridge the enterprise with the ICS and leverage impacted protocols. Then we will outline strategies designed to improve the readiness of ICS networks to fight off the next campaign and how defenders can better position their assets for rapid recovery.

Speaker Bios

Mike Assante

Michael Assante is currently the SANS lead for Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) security and Co-founder of NexDefense an Atlanta-based ICS security company. He served as Vice President and Chief Security Officer of the North American Electric Reliability (NERC) Corporation, where he oversaw industry-wide implementation of cyber security standards across the continent. Prior to joining NERC, Mr. Assante held a number of high-level positions at Idaho National Labs and served and as Vice President and Chief Security Officer for American Electric Power. Mr. Assante's work in ICS security has been widely recognized and was selected by his peers as the winner of Information Security Magazine's security leadership award for his efforts as a strategic thinker. The RSA 2005 Conference awarded him its outstanding achievement award in the practice of security within an organization.

He has testified before the US Senate and House and was an initial member of the member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency. Before his career in security served in various naval intelligence and information warfare roles, he developed and gave presentations on the latest technology and security threats to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the National Security Agency, and other leading government officials. In 1997, he was honored as a Naval Intelligence Officer of the Year.

Joe Slowik

Joe Slowik has extensive network security and computer network operations experience spanning the military, intelligence, and nuclear communities. Joe served as an Information Warfare Officer in the US Navy from 2009 to 2014, where he took part in various operations from Afghanistan to the Pacific Ocean bringing cybersecurity and network operations expertise to deployed units. Following his military service, Joe moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), working as a threat and malware analyst and leading the incident response team. While at LANL, Joe led efforts to completely revise threat hunting and intelligence operations to make network security more agile and responsive to the threat environment, such as tracking network infrastructure creation and malware development by nation state actors of interest. Joe joined Dragos in April 2017 to apply technical threat research and hunting to the ICS landscape.

Ben Miller

Ben leads a team of analysts in performing active defense inside of ICS/SCADA networks. He is responsible for a range of services including threat hunting, incident response, penetration testing and assessments for the industrial community as well as advanced research and innovation within ICS security.

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