Friday December 9th – Securing Promiscuous Use of Untrusted USB Thumb Drives in Industrial Control Systems

WHEN: Friday December 9th at 14:30
WHERE: Via della Vasca Navale, 79 – Meeting room (1.10) on 1st floor
TITLE: Securing Promiscuous Use of Untrusted USB Thumb Drives in Industrial Control Systems

ABSTRACT — Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are sensible targets
for high profile attackers and advanced persistent threats, which
are known to exploit USB thumb drives as an effective spreading
vector. In ICSes, these devices are widely used to transfer files
among disconnected systems and represent a serious security
risks, since, they may be promiscuously used in both critical and
regular systems. We show a method that adopts cryptographic
techniques to inhibit critical machines from reading possibly
malicious files coming from regular machines on untrusted USB
thumb drives. Our approach exposes limited attack surface for
any malware, even those based on zero-days. We do not require
users to change the way they use removable storage devices, or
to authenticate. Our approach can be adopted for disconnected
machines and does not need complex key management. We
describe the architecture of our solution and provide a thorough
analysis of the security of our approach in the ICS context.

TITLE: USBCheckIn: Preventing BadUSB Attacks by Forcing Human-Device Interaction

ABSTRACT — The BadUSB attack leverages the modification of
firmware of USB devices in order to mimic the behaviour of a
keyboard or a mouse and send malicious commands to the host.
This is a new and dreadful threat for any organization. Current
countermeasures either require special USB devices or ask the
user to decide if the device can be used.
We propose a new approach that, before allowing the device
to be used, forces the user to interact with it physically, to
ensure that a real human-interface device is attached. Our
implementation is hardware-based and, hence, can be used with
any host, comprising embedded devices, and also during boot,
i.e., before any operating system is running. Our approach does
not require any special feature from USB devices.