EXPLORING THE OPC ATTACK SURFACE

About the Report

Claroty researchers in 2020 conducted an extensive analysis of the OPC network protocol prevalent in OT networks worldwide. During that research, Claroty found and privately disclosed critical vulnerabilities in OPC implementations from a number of leading vendors that have built their respective products on top of the protocol stack. The affected vendors sell these products to companies operating in many industries within the ICS domain. 

The vulnerabilities discovered by Claroty could be exploited to cause a denial-of-service condition on devices operating on industrial networks, as well as information leaks, and remote code execution. Our research identified weak spots in different OPC specification implementations within different components of the OPC architecture. These components include the OPC server, OPC gateway, and a third-party library implementation of the OPC protocol stack

In this report, we will explain the OPC protocol in depth, its architecture, and common usage in order to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of these vulnerabilities. We will also describe the vulnerabilities we uncovered, and explain the potential threat posed by attackers who exploit these vulnerabilities to take over OPC servers and gateways, and potentially harm manufacturing facilities and production lines.