19 November 2016
During my daily check of the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-CERT Advisory Feed I found an interesting report that deals with a vulnerability in a family of Schneider Electric Power Meters. I researched similar advisories and the corresponding product manuals.
From that I derived some basic rules for the design of Industrial IoT (IIoT) Devices:
- Factory default for all network adapters of IIoT devices is DISABLED.
- As soon as a network adapter is enabled the user is forced to reset the password of the device and of all inbuilt users to non-trivial values. The embedded operating system should check at least against the ‘25 worst passwords’ published in the year of manufacturing.
- A reset to trivial passwords shall be rejected by the embedded operating system.
- The vendors guarantee that IIoT devices are free of Backdoor accounts.
- All network connections shall be encrypted by default.
With this, the risk of cyber-attacks against IIoT devices is dramatically reduced. And, if built-in during design phase, the production costs will increase, if at all, only moderately.
Have a good weekend.