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TrapX Security Identifies New Malware Campaign Targeting IoT Devices Embedded With Windows 7 at Manufacturing Sites

Devices Infected by the Campaign May Malfunction Causing Risk to Operations and Safety

TrapX Security, the global leader in cyber deception technology, has identified a new malware campaign specifically targeting IoT devices using Windows 7 at various global manufacturing sites. A new report from TrapX Research Labs details this campaign that uses a self-spreading downloader that runs malicious scripts as part of the Lemon_Duck PowerShell malware variant family. It has targeted a range of devices including smart printers, smart TVs and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) at specific manufacturer sites.

In January 2020, Microsoft ended all support for Windows 7, despite the estimated 200 million devices that are still running the out-of-date operating system (OS). This End of Life means there will be no more additional security patches, fixes or functions, leaving these IoT devices at an increased risk. The manufacturing sector faces large challenges due to its reliance on embedded devices running legacy OS. These devices cannot be updated easily, and most often need to be replaced in order to upgrade to new, more secure operating systems. The existence of devices running legacy OS leaves these networks open to the campaign causing risks to employee safety, disruption of production and, in some cases, loss of sensitive data.

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TrapX’s report on this malware campaign does a deep dive into its capabilities and how it spreads throughout target networks. It found that the malware’s infection may cause IoT devices to malfunction, causing harm to workers on the manufacturing floor, delays in the supply chain and damage to the brand’s reputation. The report describes the compromised security of industrial equipment that could be life-threatening, as well as detailed forensics of the malware utilized in the campaign.

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“This research is further proof of the growing complexity of security management as businesses adopt new technologies such as IoT and cloud while still maintaining legacy ones,” said Ori Bach, Chief Executive Officer of TrapX Security. “To remain effective, security products must be able to scale across the complex threat landscape.”

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Main security takeaways from the report:

  • Window 7 End of Life indicates additional patches, fixes, or functions are not available to protect these devices from future threats.
  • Infiltration risks damage to safety, the supply chain and data loss, and, in extreme cases, cause a shutdown of the entire production network.
  • Devices from third-party vendors can enter the network pre-infected.
  • Further attacks are preventable if the proper cybersecurity controls are in place, including:
    • Change the default password on devices and avoid use of weak passwords that can be brute forced
    • Map out at-risk embedded devices running the now end of life Windows 7 OS and the resulting operational impact of infections to your network
    • Replace sensitive devices with more up-to-date ones and create further segmentation around devices that cannot be replaced
    • Deploy detection and response solutions to monitor and quarantine infected devices

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