Gangnam Industrial Style: APT Campaign Targets Korean Industrial Companies

Gangnam Industrial Style: APT Campaign Targets Korean Industrial Companies

I received a notice from CyberX about a industrial and industrial control phishing scam. It just goes to show that we all need to be continually vigilant and disciplined about attachments and links.

From the CyberX blog:

Section 52, CyberX’s threat intelligence team, has uncovered an ongoing industrial cyberespionage campaign targeting hundreds of manufacturing and other industrial firms primarily located in South Korea.

The campaign steals passwords and documents which could be used in a number of ways, including stealing trade secrets and intellectual property, performing cyber reconnaissance for future attacks, and compromising industrial control networks for ransomware attacks.

For example, the attackers could be stealing proprietary information about industrial equipment designs so they can sell it to competitors and nation-states seeking to advance their competitive posture.

Also, credentials can provide attackers with remote RDP access to IoT/ICS networks, while plant schematics help adversaries understand plant layouts in order to facilitate attacks. Design information can also be used by cyberattackers to identify vulnerabilities in industrial control systems.

The campaign uses spear phishing emails with industrial-themed attachments.

First Private Stand-alone Industrial 5G Network

First Private Stand-alone Industrial 5G Network

Sander Rotmensen of Siemens automotive test center in Nuremberg, Germany and Yongbin Wei of Qualcomm recently discussed the birth of 5G networks for industrial applications. The occasion concerned the press release announcing implementation of a 5G private industrial network.

We’ve all heard about 5G and worries from a variety of national governments about whether another country is embedding spy firmware in its local company’s products. Personally, I think the worry is both silly and well-founded. Every country that houses a company in the market most likely has intelligence agents trying to do the same thing. (I could go into my university education and acquaintance with a professor with “former” CIA ties, but that goes too far afield.) And all companies will deny any tie.

And…we are going to use 5G because the benefits are great. A benefit everyone mentions is the ability to build private networks for a local facility. The network has very low latency and built-in 5-9s (99.999%) uptime.

And what are some of the use cases we can anticipate? Rotmensen and Wei provided a list of ideas:

  • Mobile equipment (tablets, etc.)
  • Assisted Workers (remote video/audio to experts, etc.)
  • Backhaul depending upon geography
  • Autonomous machines–robots, cobots with communication and low latency
  • Autonomous logistics
  • Edge computing, larger amounts of data with low latency

With the final release of IEEE Time Sensitive Networking still years away, 5G is looking very good. We are on release 15 presently. Release 16 is anticipated in June, 2020. With release 17, the increased capacity would easily handle pretty dense machine-to-machine and IoT applications.

First Private Standalone Industrial 5G Network

Showing the benefits of today’s trend toward cooperation and partnerships, this joint proof-of-concept network will explore the capabilities of 5G standalone networks for industrial applications.

The private 5G standalone (SA) network in a real industrial environment uses the 3.7-3.8GHz band. Both companies have joined forces in this project: Siemens is providing the actual industrial test conditions and end devices such as Simatic control systems and IO devices and Qualcomm is supplying the 5G test network and the relevant test equipment.

The 5G network was installed in Siemens’ Automotive Showroom and Test Center in Nuremberg. Automated guided vehicles are (AGV) displayed here which are primarily used in the automotive industry. New manufacturing options and methods are also developed, tested and presented before they are put into action on customer sites. This allows Siemens’ customers, such as automated guided vehicle manufacturers, to see the products interact live.

The Automotive Showroom and Test Center enables Siemens and Qualcomm to test all the different technologies in a standalone 5G network under actual operating conditions and to come up with solutions for the industrial applications of the future. Qualcomm Technologies installed the 5G test system comprising infrastructure and end devices in less than three weeks. Siemens provided the actual industrial setup including Simatic control systems and IO devices.

“Industrial 5G is the gateway to an all-encompassing, wireless network for production, maintenance, and logistics. High data rates, ultra-reliable transmission, and extremely low latencies will allow significant increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial added value,” says Eckard Eberle, CEO Process Automation at Siemens. “We are therefore extremely pleased to have this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can drive forward the development and technical implementation of private 5G networks in the industrial sector. Our decades of experience in industrial communication and our industry expertise combined with Qualcomm Technologies’ know-how are paving the way for wireless networks in the factory of the future.”

“This project will provide invaluable real-world learnings that both companies can apply to future deployments and marks an important key milestone as 5G moves into industrial automation,” said Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President & President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA. “Combining our 5G connectivity capabilities with Siemens’ deep industry know-how will help us deploy technologies, refine solutions, and work to make the smart industrial future a reality.”

The German Federal Network Agency has reserved a total bandwidth of 100 MHz from 3.7 GHz to 3.8 GHz for use on local industrial sites. German companies are thus able to rent part of this bandwidth on an annual basis and to make exclusive use of it on their own operating sites in a private 5G network whilst also providing optimum data protection. Siemens is using this principle to evaluate and test industrial protocols such as OPC UA and Profinet in its Automotive Showroom and Test Center together with wireless communication via 5G.

First Private Stand-alone Industrial 5G Network

How Competitive is Your Manufacturing Business?

Buzz words could well be the story of the year–digital twin, digital transformation, internet of things, industrial internet of things, digital thread, smart manufacturing, Industrie 4.0, etc. and ad nauseum.

I spoke to a couple of hundred elementary school students this morning about my career path of technology, liberal arts, and writing (not in those exact words, of course). In preparation, I pulled out Volume 1, Issue 1 of Automation World from June 2003. [Note: I left there in 2013 to pursue my own thing. I have no idea what they do anymore. The entire team that put this together, except for a sales person, has left. That’s the way of the world.]

I had a theme to the 10 years I was Editor of the magazine. It wasn’t just to put words between ads. Or just regurgitate product news. It was

How do you apply technology intelligently in order to make your business more competitive–more successful?

Back to today’s buzz words (marketing words?) of the year. Really, these reflect technologies and sometimes strategies that are worthless unless applied to make your business stronger.

Let us not lose sight of the goal!

Honeywell Wireless To Support Next-Gen Cisco Access Points

Honeywell Wireless To Support Next-Gen Cisco Access Points

Suddenly the wireless networking side of IoT connectivity is hitting my radar. Since the culmination of the “wireless wars” of 10 years ago, this technology/market area has settled into supplying usable products. This information came from Honeywell—In short, by supplying ISA100 Wireless and WirelessHART connectivity to Cisco’s next-generation Wi-Fi Access Point, Honeywell’s OneWireless IoT Module can help users increase industrial plant productivity, worker safety, and digital transformation readiness.

Honeywell is developing a OneWireless IoT Module for the next-generation of Cisco’s industrial access points, the Cisco Catalyst IW6300 Heavy Duty Series Access Point. The Honeywell and Cisco technologies will form the backbone of Honeywell’s OneWireless Network.

The joint wireless solution enables Honeywell customers to quickly and easily deploy wireless technologies as an extension of their Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS). Combining the leading IT network technology by from Cisco and the leading Honeywell OneWireless multi-protocol technology provides customers with a single infrastructure that meets all their industrial wireless needs.

“For the past decade, Cisco and Honeywell have worked together to deliver secure, wireless solutions to connect mobile workers and field instrumentation in the most challenging process manufacturing environments,” said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco IoT. “We’ve had great success in bringing IT and operational teams together to reduce complexity and improve efficiency. Now, we are building on that foundation to extend the power of intent-based networking to the IoT edge.”

When combined with the Honeywell OneWireless IoT Module, the Cisco Catalyst IW6300 Heavy Duty Series Access Point offers the security, speed, and network performance needed to allow the seamless extension of the process control network into the field.

“The OneWireless IoT Module is Honeywell’s latest innovation as a leader in wireless technology,” said Diederik Mols, business director Industrial Wireless, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Our customers will benefit from OneWireless functioning as a seamless extension of Experion PKS and simplified deployment made possible by integrating the IoT module and aerials into a single unit.”

​​​​Motor Drives Increasingly An Enabler of IoT Says Market Intelligence Firm

​​​​Motor Drives Increasingly An Enabler of IoT Says Market Intelligence Firm

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to talk with Adrian Lloyd, CEO of Interact Analysis. Interact is a new market research and intelligence company composed of industry veterans of other firms. The company researchers perform many more interviews than the industry norm combining with deep regional manufacturing data in order to achieve better and more granular results.

Company CEOs provided insight to me years ago about the accuracy (or lack) of many market analyses. I’m always in search of better information. We’ll try this one.

Interact has just released two reports—low voltage AC drives and motion control.

2019 low voltage AC motor drives report from Interact Analysis

  • Decentralized and motor mounted drives to show the strongest growth
  • Danfoss overtook Siemens in 2018 to be number 1 drives supplier to the EMEA region
  • Cabinet mounted general purpose drives have largest percentage of sales by product type

The research shows that growth in the intralogistics and materials handling sector has led to increased demand for decentralised and motor mounted drives, leading them to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period out of all seven product types covered. Cabinet mounted general purpose drives account for nearly half of drive sales globally, but also represent the slowest growing product type.

Meanwhile, from a regional perspective, although ABB is the number 1 drives supplier on a global basis, Danfoss has overtaken Siemens to be number 1 in EMEA. The Americas is predicted to be the fastest growing drives market for 2019, while the market in EMEA is shrinking, and China continues to occupy the largest share of the market (43% by unit shipments in 2019).

Interact Analysis has pioneered a new forecasting approach that gives an unprecedented level of detail. For example, users could choose to view anticipated demand for drives under 2.2 kW in the Indian packaging market. This is possible because the report is underpinned by 12 years of data on industrial production (the value of goods produced) and machinery production (the value of the machines used to produce goods). This information comes from Interact Analysis’s Manufacturing Industry Output Tracker – a big data tool that aggregates national manufacturing surveys from all major manufacturing economies in a set of over 1.2 million datapoints.

Lloyd says of this report: “In 2018 average drive prices fell by 2.7% compared with 2017, and we expect this trend to continue. To compound this, 2019 is experiencing a slowdown in the market. Yet the drives industry has reason for positivity. And not just because we expect the market to rebound in 2020.

“The world is becoming increasingly automated – in fact it is becoming rare to open a national daily newspaper and not read something about how automation is impacting the economy. Automation growth sectors, such as eCommerce warehouses, are creating vast new opportunities for drives. In the longer run, it is very positive for drives manufacturers that our research shows drives buyers increasingly see drives as the front line of predictive maintenance and industrial IoT.

“Most drives reports model industry dynamics by simply comparing the growth of the drives market with the growth of the entire manufacturing sector. Ours is different. Interact Analysis’s Manufacturing Industry Output tracker compares the value of goods produced with the value of machines used to produce goods to give a whole range of fresh new insights unavailable in any other drives report.”

Motion Control Market to Exceed $15bn by 2023

New 2019 motion control market report from Interact Analysis reveals

  • Despite a short-term dip in 2019, longer term forecasts predict solid growth
  • Increased reliance on industrial robotics a significant contributor
  • Growth rate to exceed that of global manufacturing production by 2020

Interact Analysis has released a new market report – Motion Controls – 2019 – pointing to strong growth over the next four years for motion control products.

Despite a small decline in 2019 (-3.8%) the report outlines how the market for motion control products will grow strongly, ultimately exceeding $15bn in 2023. Also noteworthy is the firm’s belief that the motion control market will outpace growth of global manufacturing production from 2020 onwards. The positive outlook holds true despite the torrid time currently facing machine tool vendors which, as the single largest consumer of motion control products, generated over a third of motion control revenues in 2018.

Interact Analysis points to several sectors which are helping to drive a more positive outlook for motion controls. These include food & beverage machinery, packaging machinery, robotics and material handling equipment, especially equipment for warehouse automation and intralogistics. Together these sectors generated just under a quarter of total motion control revenues in 2018 and are forecast to account for closer to 30% in 2023.

The report outlines further factors strengthening the outlook for motion control demand, including the trend for decentralization. Here higher-protection ratings are helping to advance the market for particular motion products. Although even combined the opportunity is small compared to the total (representing only 2.4% of the global market in 2018), the findings show that revenues for both products are projected to experience higher growth than the rest of the market, driving their combined value to exceed $500m in 2023.

Geographically, six regions – China, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy and South Korea – will continue to dominate market revenues. China, in particular, is expected to add significant revenues over the next four years, making it almost twice as big as the United States. In industry terms, sectors utilising metal cutting tools remain the largest in revenue terms, however the strongest overall growth during the forecast period came from mobile robots and industrial robots, which are the only ones forecast to experience growth in 2019 versus 2018.

Tim Dawson, research director for Interact Analysis and principal analyst of the motion controls report, said: “Although the motion control market may be considered fairly mature there are important trends impacting its future growth helping drive revenues at an above average rate for the long-term. Couple that with product releases from new vendors, plus expanding portfolios from existing ones; and the fundamentals for this industry appear very strong, even despite headwinds in certain key sectors.”

First Private Stand-alone Industrial 5G Network

Project Alvarium from Linux Foundation for Trusted Data

The IoT group that I’ve been working with for the past few years has been absorbed into the OEM group which is carrying on an expanded function. This blog post from Steve Todd, Dell Technologies Fellow, details the development of data confidence work that has been contributed to the open source Linux Foundation to seed Project Alvarium.

Following is a quick summary. Go to the blog for additional information about trusted data work.

A team of Dell Technologies specialists finished building the first-ever Data Confidence Fabric (DCF for short). The prototype code will be contributed to the Linux Foundation to seed Project Alvarium.

For several years, the CTO of the Dell Technologies Edge and IoT business unit has been touting a vision of data monetization. However, it’s hard to monetize untrusted Edge and IoT data. As he likes to say, “It’s midnight. Do you know where your data has been?” 

Enterprise storage systems have delivered trusted data to applications for a long time. We started our initial investigation wondering if these same trust principles could be applied to Edge and IoT ecosystems. Recent developments in data valuationdistributed ledgers, and data marketplaces facilitated everything coming together.

Five Levels of Trust

We started with the EdgeX Foundry chair of the Core Working Group, Trevor Conn. Trevor wrote the first-ever Data Confidence Fabric software using Go Lang, the same programming language EdgeX is written in. His Data Confidence Fabric software registered with EdgeX as a client and began processing simulated device data. The initial confidence score for this data was “0” (no trust was inserted). 

Dell Technologies then hired three computer science interns from Texas A&M to deploy EdgeX and the Data Confidence Fabric software on a Dell Gateway 3000 with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip.

EdgeX was then adjusted to support N-S-E-W authentication by using VMware’s open-source Lightwave technology.

Dell Boomi software was invoked by the Data Confidence Fabric software to gather provenance and appended this metadata to the sensor reading.

The Data Confidence Fabric software then stored the data locally using IPFS (an immutable, open-source storage system). This fourth level of trust insertion gives an application confidence that the data/provenance has not been tampered with. It also has the additional benefit of enabling analytics to access data closer to the source.

The Data Confidence Fabric software then registered the data into VMware’s blockchain (based on the open-sourceProject Concord consensus algorithm). 

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