Globally Gas Stations are Extremely Vulnerable to Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cyber Attacks

2018 begins with the rise of the Internet of Things (” IoT “) which is based on the existence of an interconnection of all kinds of everyday objects, such as a printer, a SmartTv, a refrigerator, a smart blind, a book, a thermostat, etc.

For effective, safe and secure use, it is necessary to take into account the use of passwords to access these devices, a question that is not always fulfilled. “For example, in Spain, the safety of automatic tank meters at gas stations is in question because of the 97 gas stations or tanks located in Spain, only 1 is protected by a password.”

That is why it is important to know that any device that connects to the Internet, can involve a risk in terms of privacy and security or, always be around the question of what can happen if a cybercriminal took control of any of these devices, or simply do with the personal or public information.

Today we are going to talk about a problem that affects gas stations, which although known since 2015, the expert in computer security Claudio Chifa has investigated and is referring to the safety of the automatic tank gauges of gas stations and surprisingly not has been corrected.

These devices are used in service stations and perform various functions, such as monitoring fuel levels water, temperature, or generate alarms when appropriate. These valves are used in many service stations around the world including Spain.

Also Read: Most Important Consideration for Industrial Control System(ICS) Cyber Defense


  1  DIESEL               36562     36733    19122   1307.5      0.0     9.80
  2  GAS OIL               5731      5760     9269    893.6      0.0     9.36
  3  KEROSENE              8381      8426     6620   1373.6      0.0     8.92
  4  UNLEADED             19027     19539     9777   1452.9      0.0     9.00 

Many valves have a built-in serial port for programming and monitoring. Some systems also have a TCP / IP card or even a serial adapter to TCP / IP.

These cards allow technicians to monitor the system remotely. The most common TCP port used in these systems is port 10001.

Some of these systems have the ability to be password protected, but of the 97 gas stations or tanks located in Spain, only 1 is password protected

Top Affected Countries :

Accessing these systems is relatively simple and is done via telnet. There are more than 600 commands that can be executed, some of which include the setting of alarm thresholds, the editing of sensor configurations and the execution of tank tests.

Moreover, we can see all the commands explained and detailed in the manual that the manufacturer provides for this device.

1. United States 840
2. China 472
3. Germany 447
4. Australia 188
5. Russian Federation 121
6. Canada 103
7. Spain 96
8. France 72
9. Taiwan 53
10. United Kingdom

From the Spanish Association of Internet users we call for the owners of these systems to ensure a minimum level of security to avoid both an economic loss and an ecological disaster in case someone remotely tries to manipulate these devices with bad intentions.

Some reflections on security of the Internet of Things in the industrial world

According to an IoT expert. Antonio Fernandes ,Far from being an isolated event, the Internet connection of critical devices like the case of these gas stations, is something more common than we think.

The digital transformation of the industry is leading a large part of it to growth with zero security awareness, generating a new dangerous and unstable ecosystem.

We tend to believe that cybersecurity (“IoT”) lies primarily in securing the devices and their connection to the network, and we are wrong.

As a starting point, we see that neither the securitization of the devices nor their connection to the network is currently in the minds of many industrial deployments, such as the commented case of gas stations and industrial devices.

Many management software, methods of updating or authentication of the embedded software of the devices (“IoT”) is not developed with the security of information as a determining factor for the market, this gives all kinds of classic vulnerabilities to them for that the attacker gets an intrusion in it.

But these insecure devices, are part of a fog of devices, an electronic hive that communicates in a multitude of protocols … Some of them insecure .. In many channels .. Some of them insecure …

If this were not enough, these devices usually report services that are hosted in the cloud. Therefore, this is another area to which to devote efforts in the search to have the lowest possible risk.

And to mention another important risk factor “The human being” that reviews, controls and works with these IoT infrastructures from their computers that they use for other office tasks or from mobile apps on their smartphones and tablets.

The hijacking, manipulation or destruction of critical industrial systems is more real than most people tend to believe, and it has long ceased to be a poetic license for Hollywood screenwriters.

Source & Credit: This article provided to by Claudio Chifa , IoT Security Expert. He Would like to share his knowledge, for the readers who are interested in exploring tacts and trends.All the Content of this Article Belongs to Original Author Claudio Chifa, IoT Security Expert. won’t take any credits.