The adversary is trying to manipulate, interrupt, or destroy your ICS systems, data, and their surrounding environment.
Impact consists of techniques that adversaries use to disrupt, compromise, destroy, and manipulate the integrity and availability of control system operations, processes, devices, and data. These techniques encompass the influence and effects resulting from adversarial efforts to attack the ICS environment or that tangentially impact it. Impact techniques can result in more instantaneous disruption to control processes and the operator, or may result in more long term damage or loss to the ICS environment and related operations. The adversary may leverage Impair Process Control techniques, which often manifest in more self-revealing impacts on operations, or Impair Process Control techniques to hinder safeguards and alarms in order to follow through with and provide cover for Impact. In some scenarios, control system processes can appear to function as expected, but may have been altered to benefit the adversary’s goal over the course of a longer duration. These techniques might be used by adversaries to follow through on their end goal or to provide cover for a confidentiality breach.
Loss of Productivity and Revenue, Theft of Operational Information, and Damage to Property are meant to encompass some of the more granular goals of adversaries in targeted and untargeted attacks. These techniques in and of themselves are not necessarily detectable, but the associated adversary behavior can potentially be mitigated and/or detected.
|14 March 2019
|08 March 2023
|Damage to Property
|Adversaries may cause damage and destruction of property to infrastructure, equipment, and the surrounding environment when attacking control systems. This technique may result in device and operational equipment breakdown, or represent tangential damage from other techniques used in an attack. Depending on the severity of physical damage and disruption caused to control processes and systems, this technique may result in Loss of Safety. Operations that result in Loss of Control may also cause damage to property, which may be directly or indirectly motivated by an adversary seeking to cause impact in the form of Loss of Productivity and Revenue.
|Denial of Control
|Adversaries may cause a denial of control to temporarily prevent operators and engineers from interacting with process controls. An adversary may attempt to deny process control access to cause a temporary loss of communication with the control device or to prevent operator adjustment of process controls. An affected process may still be operating during the period of control loss, but not necessarily in a desired state.
|Denial of View
|Adversaries may cause a denial of view in attempt to disrupt and prevent operator oversight on the status of an ICS environment. This may manifest itself as a temporary communication failure between a device and its control source, where the interface recovers and becomes available once the interference ceases.
|Loss of Availability
|Adversaries may attempt to disrupt essential components or systems to prevent owner and operator from delivering products or services.
|Loss of Control
|Adversaries may seek to achieve a sustained loss of control or a runaway condition in which operators cannot issue any commands even if the malicious interference has subsided.
|Loss of Productivity and Revenue
|Adversaries may cause loss of productivity and revenue through disruption and even damage to the availability and integrity of control system operations, devices, and related processes. This technique may manifest as a direct effect of an ICS-targeting attack or tangentially, due to an IT-targeting attack against non-segregated environments.
|Loss of Protection
|Adversaries may compromise protective system functions designed to prevent the effects of faults and abnormal conditions. This can result in equipment damage, prolonged process disruptions and hazards to personnel.
|Loss of Safety
|Adversaries may compromise safety system functions designed to maintain safe operation of a process when unacceptable or dangerous conditions occur. Safety systems are often composed of the same elements as control systems but have the sole purpose of ensuring the process fails in a predetermined safe manner.
|Loss of View
|Adversaries may cause a sustained or permanent loss of view where the ICS equipment will require local, hands-on operator intervention; for instance, a restart or manual operation. By causing a sustained reporting or visibility loss, the adversary can effectively hide the present state of operations. This loss of view can occur without affecting the physical processes themselves.
|Manipulation of Control
|Adversaries may manipulate physical process control within the industrial environment. Methods of manipulating control can include changes to set point values, tags, or other parameters. Adversaries may manipulate control systems devices or possibly leverage their own, to communicate with and command physical control processes. The duration of manipulation may be temporary or longer sustained, depending on operator detection.
|Manipulation of View
|Adversaries may attempt to manipulate the information reported back to operators or controllers. This manipulation may be short term or sustained. During this time the process itself could be in a much different state than what is reported.
|Theft of Operational Information
|Adversaries may steal operational information on a production environment as a direct mission outcome for personal gain or to inform future operations. This information may include design documents, schedules, rotational data, or similar artifacts that provide insight on operations. In the Bowman Dam incident, adversaries probed systems for operational data.