Orange Cyberdefense Unveils Its Security Navigator With OT Hacking Demos

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The manufacturing industry comes as the top targeted sector by cyberattacks in 2022, according to Orange Cyberdefense’s (OCD) Security Navigator 2023, which will be published on December 1, 2022.

With this backdrop, Marie Forrat, head of the OT Use Case Factory at OCD demonstrated how easy it could be to hack industrial robots.

During a demonstration of how OT can be manipulated Orange showed a robotic arm locked in a cage across the room that was picking up small cubes and moving them a few centimetres away from their original location, in the same configuration. With one simple command sent to the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) machine, Forrat was able to ask the robot to open its metallic fingers after picking up each cube. By doing that, the robot then dropped the cubes each time it picked them up and they fell randomly and rolled around the platform.

“By attacking the SCADA, itself connected to the programmable logic controller (PLC) that controls the industrial robot, I can modify the parameters and create significant physical damage. Imagine replacing those small cubes with industrial products that weighed several tons,” Forrat, head of the OT use case factory at Orange Cyberdefense (OCD), explained in front of an audience of 30 journalists and analysts gathered at one of the company’s headquarters in Lyon, France, on November 25, 2022.

“While quite sophisticated, this type of OT cyberattack can be particularly impactful and can be used either to entice the victim to pay a ransom, disrupt the production process or destroy some of the infrastructures,” Forrat added.

For Orange, cybersecurity "is not a cost, it's an investment," Christel Heydemann, the firm's CEO, said. Source: Orange
For Orange, cybersecurity "is not a cost, it's an investment," Christel Heydemann, the firm's CEO, said. Source: Orange

Cyber-incidents up 5% in 2022

The Security Navigator 2023 report, which Infosecurity has had exclusive access to, is the annual threat landscape published by OCD, based on data from its Security Operation Centers (SOCs), which they called CyberSOCs, across the world, their vulnerability management solutions and penetration testing reports, as well as information gathered by their Computer Emergence Response Team centers (CERTs).

This year, OCD identified 99,506 potential incidents and 29,291 confirmed incidents.

“Even though this represents a 5% increase from 2021, this is good news, as last year’s increase was higher (+13%),” stated Hugues Foulon, OCD’s CEO.

“Also, we didn’t see the surge in cyberattacks expected by some after Russia started invading Ukraine in February, notably because of the implosion of some very active cyber-gangs who had Russian and Ukrainian members,” added Foulon, who was most likely referring to Conti.

Other significant findings from the report show that phishing remains the top vector of attacks in 2022. Similarly, malware, which includes ransomware, continues to be the top threat, accounting for 40% of all incidents. It is especially prominent for small companies (under 1000 employees), with 49% of them targeted by malware-based attacks, and large ones (10,000 employees and more), for which malware was responsible for 43% of cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity, a Key Driver for Orange’s Growth

The event was also an opportunity for Orange Group’s new CEO, Christel Heydemann, to reaffirm that “cybersecurity is a key driver for Orange’s growth in the coming years.”

After over eight years at industrial group Schneider Electric, Heydemann was appointed as the head of Orange Group in April 2022. Since then, Orange has merged all of its cybersecurity activities, which were previously spread across different business units, under the umbrella of OCD.

“[Orange has] invested significantly in cyber, in organic and non-organic growth,” said the CEO, highlighting the recent purchase of SCRT and Telsys, two cybersecurity companies based in Switzerland.

“We aim to grow faster than the market. The cybersecurity market is growing at 10-11%, and we’re trying to grow at a rate of up to 15% to reach €1bn ($1.05bn) in annual turnover – which we will achieve in 2022,” Foulon declared.

“We are the leader in France, Belgium and Sweden, the challenger in the UK and Germany, but not yet operational in Spain or Italy. These are markets we are considering,” he added, hinting at potential future acquisitions in these countries.

To support its ambitions in cybersecurity, Heydemann announced that OCD is also planning to recruit 600 people in France alone in 2023.

Responding to a question regarding Orange being targeted by a cyberattack on September 4, 2022, Foulon confirmed the information but did not provide any more information.

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