Category Archives: control automation

Open Group OPA Forum Launches First Business Guide

Insiderlogo3From a press release at #arcforum

The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum Launches First Business Guide

 

Guide Aids Industrial Manufacturers to Transition to Standards-based, Open, Interoperable, and Secure Architecture for Industrial Control Systems

 

San Francisco, CA – February 13, 2018: The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum has launched the Open Process Automation™ Business Guide – Value

 

Proposition and Business Case for the Open Process Automation Standard. The publication, coming so soon after the Forum officially launched in January 2017, details the value and business case for the development of the Open Process Automation™ Standard, and was written by principal authors in the Forum from ExxonMobil, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Merck, and Schneider Electric. Additional contributors are from Accenture, AspenTech, BASF, CMC Associates, Curtiss-Wright, DuPont, Enterprise Transformation Partners, Georgia Pacific, Koch Industries, Royal Dutch Shell, and Siemens.

 

Aimed at helping industrial manufacturers increase productivity and customer satisfaction, the Forum will define standards for an open, interoperable, secure process automation architecture. The Business Guide expresses the motivation and vision for this architecture as a business imperative for both users and suppliers of industrial control systems.

 

The Business Guide outlines an ecosystem of end users, system integrators, hardware and software suppliers, and service providers. It defines how the business models of current stakeholders will be impacted by open interoperability and answers questions about the value propositions for buyers and sellers.

 

In addition, it outlines a spectrum of business scenarios for the current state of industrial control system use and the future state where Open Process Automation conformant systems will be used, including in continuous process industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, food and beverage, mining and minerals, chemicals, and technology.

 

“This publication is a fundamental next step for us in driving the development of a framework and a ‘standard of standards’ for how process automation is achieved,” said Ed Harrington, Director of The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum. “This initiative aims to deliver real-world benefits to a range of different vertical industries in response to the demand for standards, and we are excited to have built the business framework for success of both buyers and sellers in this area.”

 

Don Bartusiak, Chief Engineer at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, added, “ExxonMobil believes that industry standards based on an equitable business framework and sustained by effective conformance certification are keys to achieving our business goals for the process automation systems we need to be competitive in the era of digitalization. This three-part process –consensus-based standards, defined business framework, and conformance certification from the outset – are distinguishing characteristics of The Open Group that we will employ to produce useful and timely standards. The Open Process Automation Forum’s first major deliverable, the Business Guide, articulates the value proposition and business case for all stakeholders. Its words are the business framework. They set the tone for the constructive transformation that we member companies of the Forum are striving for.”

 

“As a proud member of the Open Process Automation Forum, we were pleased to take part in the creation of this Business Guide and we congratulate all our members for achieving this important landmark,” said Trevor Cusworth, Senior Client Executive, Schneider Electric. “The Business Guide is a major step forward and an indication of the great momentum building behind this critical industry initiative. Our customers are under increasing pressure to lower the costs related to their control systems while improving the profitability of their operations. Closed, proprietary control systems make it more difficult to achieve these financial objectives because they are expensive to operate, upgrade and maintain, and they are difficult to integrate with third-party offers. That’s why many of our customers support a standards-based, open process control framework. The Open Process Automation Forum is driving the development of these standards, and this new Business Guide explains exceptionally well the value open-standards control will provide to end users, suppliers and integrators alike.”

 

Please download the Business Guide here.

 

Bedrock Announces New Firmware Upgrade for Cyber Security

Press Release from #arcforum:

 

Bedrock® Cybershield 3.0 Delivers on the Promise of Open Secure Automation (OSA®) with a Suite of Cyber Defense Tools and Open SCADA Partners

 

San Jose, Calif. – February 12, 2018 As part of their participation at the ARC Conference, Bedrock Automation has announced the availability of Cybershield 3.0, a major firmware upgrade with advancements that make it easier for end users and developers to build control applications that are both open and secure.  Among the six major innovations facilitated by the Cybershield 3.0 upgrade are the first public key infrastructure (PKI) built into an OPC UA server for SCADA applications; an industrial Certificate Authority (CA) for user key management; virtual crypto key locks for the controller; and a Secure Proxy server capability that can protect legacy controls systems of other vendors.

 

“Cybershield 3.0 is one of the most significant steps forward since the release of our Bedrock OSA platform. We now support leading SCADA companies in integrating their OPC UA client to our open security and key management tools.  In addition, we start our march to converge IT cyber detection technologies into real-time OT automation with our integrated Anomaly Detection (AD) tools built into every controller. We are delivering secure SCADA and AD as intrinsic and zero-cost advancements, focused acutely on ease of use and reductions in lifecycle costs,” said Bedrock founder and CEO Albert Rooyakkers.

 

Bedrock Cybershield 3.0 includes the following capabilities:

 

  • Secure Open SCADA with OPC UA. The cryptographic keys built into all the Bedrock system electronics, provide the root of trust for the Bedrock Certificate Authority (CA) that verifies the reliability of OPC UA-managed communications between SCADA and PLCs or other industrial control systems.

 

  • Open Certificate Authority (CA) for SCADA. This advanced SaaS key and certificate management tool is not only FREE to our customers but is simple to deploy with our Secure SCADA Interface Specification Leading SCADA providers, including Inductive Automation, ICONICS and Tatsoft, are committing to and releasing support to this interface specification.

 

  • Intrusion detection. Even though the Bedrock control system has protection built into its core, users still need to know when system security is challenged. Cybershield 3.0 comes standard with intrinsic Anomaly Detection (AD) functionality that continuously monitors the controller’s network and system time to detect intrusions and anomalous behavior and report it to both SCADA and enterprise database applications for trending, alarming and historizing anomalous cyber activity.

 

  • Quickly Secure Legacy Automation with Secure SCADA. Companies can now use Bedrock security to help integrate open standard communications protocols with legacy PLC and DCS systems from other vendors. A Bedrock secure controller module acts as a gateway between SCADA platform workstation and the legacy controllers.
  • Cryptographic key locking. Cybershield 3.0 also includes a cryptographic controller engineering key lock that permits only users with the required credentials to change the mode of the controller.

 

  • Achilles and EMP compliance on power supplies. Bedrock Automation is certifying its standalone power supply and standalone uninterruptible lithium power supply to both MiL-STD-461-G, the military standard for advanced EMP hardening, and Achilles Level 2 certification, augmenting the EMP and Achilles certification achieved for its control system modules last year.

 

“Today’s increasingly connected environment drives the process industries to search for automation solutions that deliver the benefits of open communications with ‘baked in’ cybersecurity. By extending its secure automation technology to third-party software providers, Bedrock Automation addresses this key pain point of future automation requirements. ARC believes the intrinsic and no-cost approach of Bedrock’s cybersecurity strategy is the quintessential component missing in control systems, today,” writes ARC analyst Mark Sen Gupta in his recent report, Bedrock Automation’s Open Secure Automation a “Win” with End Users

 

Availability

Cybershield 3.0 will be standard on all Bedrock control systems starting in Q2 of 2018 and will also be made available to current Bedrock users as a free upgrade.

 

Extreme Badness from Malware and Design Flaws Impact Industry

Insiderlogo3First, there’s the Triton Exploit

In 2004, Triconex safety expert Robert Adamski told me, “I’m going to share my nightmare with you.” He proceeded to talk about, not a safety issue, but a cyber security issue. He predicted that it would be possible to penetrate a control system and enter the safety instrumented system, the SIS, which is designed to safely shut down a plant in the event of a failure in the process. He explained exactly how his hacker, “Let’s call him Ali al Qaeda,” would be able to do that, and he dared me to tell him it couldn’t happen.

 

Ever since then, I have been talking about Bob Adamski’s nightmare, and nobody has ever been able to tell me it couldn’t happen.

 

The best they could do was to assert, pretty baldly, that it was highly unlikely, that it would require great resources, and would not happen because it would potentially cause extreme damage. Neither Adamski, who passed away a few years ago, nor I ever believed much in that argument, and we’ve been waiting for Bob’s nightmare to come true.

 

Well, now it has. Not quite as badly as Adamski feared, and no plant was destroyed. But an attacker targeted an SIS system, and caused it to shut down the plant.

The best description of what happened, and what the malware can do is in a blog by Heather MacKenzie of Nozomi Networks. You can read the entire blog here. She makes some important points.

 

“The attack reprogrammed a facility’s Safety Instrumented System (SIS) controllers, causing them to enter a failed state, and resulting in an automatic shutdown of the industrial process,” MacKenzie wrote. 

 

The attack is bold and notable,” she said, “because it is the first known industrial control system (ICS) attack that has targeted and impacted not just an ICS, but SIS equipment. Also, the type of SIS attacked is widely used and is commissioned in a consistent way across many industries.”

 

She then makes an important point. “The SIS system that was attacked was a Schneider Electric Triconex Safety Instrumented System (hence the malware moniker “TRITON”, also known as “TRISIS”.)  However, the malware was not designed specifically for Triconex, it was designed because the target organization was using Triconex(emphasis added).”

 

What MacKenzie, and Nozomi Networks’ partner, Fireye, which discovered the exploit, says is that FireEye is moderately confident that the attacker inadvertently shutdown operations while developing the ability to cause physical damage. You can read their reasons for coming to this conclusion, and many other important details about the attack, in the FireEye blog post on TRITON.

 

MacKenzie notes, “ It is the first known malware targeting SIS, and only the fifth malware known to specifically target ICS (after Stuxnet, Havex / Dragonfly, Blackenergy2, and Industroyer / CrashOverride).”

 

It is likely that if the target enterprise had been using another SIS system, the exploit would have targeted that one instead of the Triconex system.

 

Now that the exploit has demonstrated that SIS systems as a class are penetrable and vulnerable, we can expect to see more attacks.

 

“Cassandras” like Joe Weiss, myself, Eric Byres (of Tofino fame) and others have been pointing out for a decade that there is a thought gap between data security, which most cyber security systems are based on, and process safety. You cannot have a secure system unless it is a safe system. You cannot have a safe system unless it is a secure system. We can no longer ignore this fact or Bob Adamski’s nightmare will become all too real.

 

Intel, AMD, and Other Processors Vulnerable

 

If the Triton Exploit weren’t enough, the entire computing world was rocked in December  and early January by the revelation that processors by Intel, ARM, AMD, and even Qualcomm (one of the largest manufacturers of mobile device processors) are vulnerable to a series of vulnerabilities, like Spectre and Meltdown, which leave them open to attack.

 

How this impacts the automation industry is obvious. Since the major automation vendors abandoned making their own chips, almost forty years ago, chipsets by Intel, ARM, AMD and others have been used in everything from sensors to controllers, to the computers that DCS and SCADA systems run on. The computers that serve as cloud servers are not immune either.

 

A report from CNET describes the issue: “Researchers found two major weaknesses in processors that could let attackers read sensitive information that should never leave the CPU, or central processing unit. In both cases, attackers could see data that the processor temporarily makes available outside of the chip.

Here’s why that happens: To make computer processes run faster, a chip will essentially guess what information the computer needs to perform its next function. That’s called speculative execution. As the chip guesses, that sensitive information is momentarily easier to access.”

 

Spectre and Meltdown (which targets cloud servers) can be used on systems that are not patched to prevent it, to permit unauthorized entry into the system. Now, it is in the industrial space that systems will potentially NOT be patched.

 

This is because in many cases, the system cannot be shut down to patch it, or the system is running on an archaic processor. There are thousands of Windows XP systems running in the industrial environment. There are instances of even Windows 3.11 and DOS systems running processes yet today. These systems cannot be patched.

 

Intel and the others state that the flaw has existed for at least twenty years, so all those archaic systems are vulnerable.

 

CNET reports, “Researchers, chipmakers and computer companies all say there are no known examples of hackers using these weaknesses to attack a computer. However, now that the details of the design flaws and how to exploit them are publicly available, the chances of hackers using them are much higher.”

As the Triton Exploit and others have proven, hackers up to and including nation states, have been trying to penetrate Industrial Control Systems for at least a decade and a half already. This just gives them another avenue to exploit. And as the ICS malware exploits we have already seen show, it is not all that difficult to attack a control system that is not adequately defended.

 

Operating system manufacturers like Apple and Microsoft are scrambling to patch their systems so that the exploits cannot be used. But the fact that it exists in nearly all processors means that it will be hanging over us for a long time.

In the meantime, be wary of phishing and other means of achieving entry into your control systems. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This first appeared in the December 2017 INSIDER. If you like this kind of reporting and analysis, please consider becoming an INSIDER subscriber. Visit http://www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider for more information.

 

Emerson Acquires ProSys Inc.

Emerson Completes Acquisition of ProSys, Inc.

Deal adds new software capabilities to improve plant performance and brings new technologies to Emerson’s Operational Certainty initiative

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) announced on the 17th of January that it has acquired ProSys Inc., a global supplier of software and services that increase production and safety for the chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and refining industries. By building intuitive processes for plant operators, these solutions make everything from everyday operations to responding during abnormal situations easier.

“The staff of ProSys are all friends of long standing and the INSIDER wishes them all well and congratulates them on their success,” said Walt Boyes, editor/publisher of the INSIDER.

“Adding ProSys’ differentiated technologies and expertise allows us to help our customers improve plant performance, safety and profitability by optimizing their human and automation resources,” said Mike Train, executive president, Emerson Automation Solutions. “With ProSys, we can provide innovative control and operator performance capabilities to make control room operators far more effective.”

Executive President Mike Train

ProSys’ portfolio includes solutions that help operators manage alarms critical to plant production and safety, and efficiently handle changing plant states. In addition, ProSys provides modern, high performance and intuitive graphics for better operator communications.

ProSys complements Emerson’s May 2017 acquisition of MYNAH Technologies, which provides dynamic simulation and operator training software. Together, these technologies embed expertise to help operators navigate plant systems safely and efficiently, and prepare customers to accommodate the changing state and age of the industrial workforce.

“Our specialization in software and services that increase operator performance builds on Emerson’s market leadership in automation control systems,” said Dustin Beebe, president and CEO at ProSys. “By working together as one, we can provide even more operational and financial value to customers.” Beebe will join Emerson Automation Solutions as vice president, control and operator performance.

Dustin Beebe will join Emerson as Vice President of control and operator performance

The ProSys software portfolio supports Emerson’s Operational Certainty™ program designed to help industrial companies achieve Top Quartile performance in areas of safety, reliability, and production.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. For more information about ProSys Inc., visit https://www.prosys.com/.

December 2017 INSIDER discusses cyber-badness

Insiderlogo3The December 2017 INSIDER has been released. The cover story, “Extreme Badness from Malware and Design Flaws Impact Industry” discusses the two cyber issues impacting the ICS community that surfaced in late December: the Triton Exploit and Spectre and Meltdown. The INSIDER has been discussing this for years, and your editor and Joe Weiss beat the drum for years at Control magazine. The late Robert Adamski called something like the Triton Exploit “Adamski’s Nightmare.” It has been infecting my dreams since 2004, and I am pleased to pass it along to you. If you aren’t afraid yet, you haven’t been paying attention.

In the Health Watch, NIck Denbow and I look at the state of the Automation Industry through the lens of ABB, and we take a look at Endress+Hauser’s alliances, distribution, and newest product and what it means for Millenials as they become engineers and operators.

Rajabahadur Arcot’s article, “India’s expanding economy and emerging growth opportunities” rounds out the last issue of 2017.

If you’re not a subscriber, visit Become an INSIDER and subscribe. Individual subscriptions are $500 per year…that works out to less than $40 a month for the best news and commentary in the industry. Corporate subscriptions are also available. Contact David Spitzer for details.

 

 

 

Schneider Releases Triconex Malware Advisory

Insiderlogo3From the Schneider Electric announcement:
Malware Discovered Affecting Triconex Safety Controllers V1.1 December 14, 2017
Overview
____________________________________________________________________________
Schneider Electric is aware of a directed incident affecting a single customer’s Triconex Tricon safety shutdown system.
____________________________________________________________________________
We are working closely with our customer, independent cybersecurity organizations and ICS- CERT to investigate and mitigate the risks of this type of attack. While evidence suggests this was an isolated incident and not due to a vulnerability in the Triconex system or its program code, we continue to investigate whether there are additional attack vectors. It is important to note that in this instance, the Triconex system responded appropriately, safely shutting down plant operations. No harm was incurred by the customer or the environment.
Triconex user documentation contains detailed security guidelines and recommendations on how to protect Triconex systems from attack. We strongly encourage all our customers to follow these recommendations regarding product use and security, as well as apply and follow industry-recognized cybersecurity best practices at all times to protect their installations:
• Ensure the cybersecurity features in Triconex solutions are always enabled;
• Never leave the front panel key position in the “Program” mode when not actively
configuring the controller;
• And ensure all TriStation terminals, safety controllers and the safety network are isolated
from the rest of the plant communication channels.
Also, review and assess your site’s cyber preparedness. Schneider Electric is a proponent of the NIST Cyber Security Framework and is ready to assist should this be necessary.
The Schneider Electric Product Security Office continues to work with ICS-CERT and will update this advisory as more information becomes available.
Details
The modules of this malware are designed to disrupt Triconex safety controllers, which are used widely in critical infrastructure. The malware requires the keyswitch to be in the “PROGRAM” mode in order to deliver its payload. Among others, the reported malware has the capability to scan and map the industrial control system environment to provide reconnaissance and issue commands directly to Tricon safety controllers.

Major Cyber Attack on SIS Systems–and we told you so!

Insiderlogo3The late Bob Adamski didn’t live to see his prediction from the early 2000s come true, but it has. Here are some of the reports:

From FireEye, on 12/14/17:

Attackers Deploy New ICS Attack Framework “TRITON” and Cause Operational Disruption to Critical Infrastructure

And on 12/15,

New TRITON ICS Malware is Bold and Important

Bob and I, and Joe Weiss, have been continuously predicting this development since at least 2004. Yet it is now 2017, and the systems are still vulnerable. This is stupid.

Although the attack apparently only accidentally shut down the plant, during a search for operational data, the attack could have easily been used to destroy the plant utterly by spoofing the SIS system and using it to cause extremely unsafe conditions leading to catastrophic accidents.

At some point, somebody has to be willing to recognize how fragile OT systems are, really, and how easily they can be disrupted. It is said that our civilization is three days from anarchy. The late Dr. Jerry Pournelle, inventor of the Star Wars Defense for Ronald Reagan, said we were three weeks from cannibalism if the lights went out and stayed out.

This is seriously dangerous, folks, and I am tired, and Joe Weiss is tired, and Bob Adamski was tired before he died, of being told we are fear-mongering. We aren’t. And now we can prove it.

 

 

 

Rockwell’s PSUG-The Plant PAx Roadmap

My tweets from Monday afternoon’s roadmap session at PSUG:

Mon, 13:07: Chris Dornan and Jason Wight provide the PlantPAx roadmap— #ROKPSUG

Mon, 13:09: We are members of a secret society called the International Society of Automation #ROKPSUG (why is ISA not a bigge… https://t.co/qVDQhDQLyR

Mon, 13:11: #ROKPSUG Plant PAx 4.5 releases this coming summer.

Mon, 13:13: Kris Dornan begins the deep dive #ROKPSUG https://t.co/uuCPKArFSh

Mon, 13:14: SMART— #ROKPSUG https://t.co/SQ5cONPCoS

Mon, 13:16: New Standard Control Panels #ROKPSUG https://t.co/rLjmKbacHu

Mon, 13:17: Intelligent Packaged Power — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/QOB1PRQ78V

Mon, 13:18: Server consolidation — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/Co9r84LY3e

Mon, 13:21: Redundant PASS server enhancements; DTM support of Ehernet/IP Devices; updated function block diagram editor https://t.co/bSb9BcPg0K

Mon, 13:23: Mod sheet size online — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/VEPoMLEPBh

Mon, 13:24: Productive! https://t.co/gpcCsPiUkX

Mon, 13:27: New productivity tools #rokpsug https://t.co/oCt4pUKbiG

Mon, 13:30: New faceplates; trending integration with alarms; PI Asset framework for process objects — #rokpsug https://t.co/ZcFPISAGQR

Mon, 13:38: More productivity tools— thinmanager integration; mobile alarming interface; updated batch visualization #rokpsug https://t.co/npi1SXaFEQ

Mon, 13:41: Protected— area based security; PRP network support; Redundant communications —#ROKPSUG https://t.co/LhV5C80yPj

Mon, 13:45: And we’ll come fix it for you! #ROKPSUG https://t.co/voCmk9VAQs

Mon, 13:48: “Don’t YOU worry about it! #ROKPSUG https://t.co/pRbxwTC6pC

Mon, 14:10: Rockwell’s new entrant in the I/O sweepstakes. They call it the standard configured panel. #rokpsug https://t.co/ddOdv8yONf

Insiderlogo3 If you like reporting like this, with no advertising and no slant, subscribe to the INSIDER at www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider.

GE-Baker Hughes and Yokogawa-KBC are partners

Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE: BHGE) and KBC a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841), announced a preferred partnership that will provide a combination of process simulation, asset performance management and operational software solutions to the oil and gas industry.

 

Leveraging GE’s Predix, the platform for the industrial internet, to deliver one unified view, this partnership extends KBC’s Petro-SIM process simulation modeling further into the fullstream oil and gas value chain, and provides connectivity between operations, assets, people and business processes for end-to-end optimization.

 

Integrating KBC technology with BHGE’s suite of digital solutions will allow customers to reduce bottlenecks in facilities, processes and equipment to achieve optimal production and lower risk.  By integrating data analytics connected by seamless workflows between facilities and operations, the time spent to analyze operations will be significantly reduced and the insight gained will increase production, reduce energy usage and improve product quality consistency.

 

“This partnership showcases our commitment to break down data “silos”, and is an ideal example of the convergence of process and operational thinking,” said Matthias Heilmann, Chief Digital Officer of BHGE. “For the first time, oil and gas customers can build a digital twin of a plant, refinery or rig, that incorporates end-to-end process and operational analytics and machine learning. With Petro-SIM providing simulation technology to our fullstream portfolio, this best-in-class solution will bring us into a new era of operational improvement.”

 

KBC’s Petro-SIM simulation technology already connects to cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data-as-a-service solutions to remotely monitor and help improve customers’ process operations. With full integration to commercial data historian and database systems, the KBC technology offers a central repository for process topology, and stream and equipment data, with access to live and historical plant operating data for performance monitoring. Asset Performance Management (APM) from GE enables intelligent asset strategies to help optimize performance to make operations safer by helping to predict and prevent failures. It can answer critical questions on the history and current operation of an asset, as well as provide an answer to what actions should be taken to improve performance, mitigate risk and ensure overall operational safety and efficiency.

 

The integration of KBC process simulation and models with BHGE analytics, digital twins, fullstream software and Predix provides real-time congruence between the digital and physical worlds. A plant digital twin, enabled by this partnership, would provide a complete view of all equipment, operations and processes, comparing actual performance to expected outcomes, and enabling predictive actions. This plant twin will also enable efficient workforce management, allowing personnel to focus on critical plant operations.

“This game-changing combination of KBC and BHGE will result in solutions for customers to quickly analyze problems and opportunities, and create insights that can then be turned into actions that will assure operational excellence, and sustainability, based on the Yokogawa approach of engaging in co-innovation with customers.” said Andy Howell, CEO of KBC. “Together we will deliver molecularly-enabled digital twins of assets across the fullstream from wellbore through pipeline networks, topsides, gas plants, refineries and petro-chemical plants.”

 

The announcement was made in Paris during UNIFY, BHGE’s first-ever Digital User Conference dedicated to productivity-driving software applications for the oil and gas industry.

 

The INSIDER for August 2017 emailed yesterday!

I’ve been fighting off a flu bug, so it was a few days later than I wanted it to be…but it is out. I will be posting some articles from it throughout the month, but if you want to read them now, visit http://www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider to subscribe.

The cover story in the August INSIDER is an Insider Special Report on “Cyber Security in the Age of the Industrial Internet of Things.” I think you will find it thought provoking.