Visible to the public Securing SCADA Applications Using OpenPLC With End-To-End Encryption

TitleSecuring SCADA Applications Using OpenPLC With End-To-End Encryption
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAlves, Thiago, Morris, Thomas, Yoo, Seong-Moo
Conference NameProceedings of the 3rd Annual Industrial Control System Security Workshop
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-6333-4
KeywordsAES, compositionality, Encryption, Human Behavior, Modbus, OpenPLC, PLC, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, SCADA, SCADA systems, security

During its nascent stages, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) were made robust to sustain tough industrial environments, but little care was taken to raise defenses against potential cyberthreats. The recent interconnectivity of legacy PLCs and SCADA systems with corporate networks and the internet has significantly increased the threats to critical infrastructure. To counter these threats, researchers have put their efforts in finding defense mechanisms that can protect the SCADA network and the PLCs. Encryption is a critical component of security and therefore has been used by many organizations to protect data on the network. However, since PLC vendors don't make available information about their hardware or software, it becomes challenging to embed encryption into their devices, especially if they rely on legacy protocols. This paper describes an alternative design using an open source PLC that was modified to encrypt all data it sends over the network, independently of the protocol used. Experimental results indicated that the encryption layer increased the security of the link without causing a significant overhead.

Citation Keyalves_securing_2017