Device Restart/Shutdown

Adversaries may forcibly restart or shutdown a device in an ICS environment to disrupt and potentially negatively impact physical processes. Methods of device restart and shutdown exist in some devices as built-in, standard functionalities. These functionalities can be executed using interactive device web interfaces, CLIs, and network protocol commands.

Unexpected restart or shutdown of control system devices may prevent expected response functions happening during critical states.

A device restart can also be a sign of malicious device modifications, as many updates require a shutdown in order to take effect.

ID: T0816
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Platforms: None
Version: 1.1
Created: 21 May 2020
Last Modified: 13 October 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
C0028 2015 Ukraine Electric Power Attack

During the 2015 Ukraine Electric Power Attack, Sandworm Team scheduled the uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) to shutdown data and telephone servers via the UPS management interface. [1][2]

S0604 Industroyer

The Industroyer SIPROTEC DoS module exploits the CVE-2015-5374 vulnerability in order to render a Siemens SIPROTEC device unresponsive. While the vulnerability does not directly cause the restart or shutdown of the device, the device must be restarted manually before it can resume operations. [3]

Targeted Assets

ID Asset
A0008 Application Server
A0007 Control Server
A0009 Data Gateway
A0006 Data Historian
A0013 Field I/O
A0002 Human-Machine Interface (HMI)
A0005 Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)
A0012 Jump Host
A0003 Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
A0004 Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)
A0014 Routers
A0010 Safety Controller
A0011 Virtual Private Network (VPN) Server
A0001 Workstation


ID Mitigation Description
M0801 Access Management

All devices or systems changes, including all administrative functions, should require authentication. Consider using access management technologies to enforce authorization on all management interface access attempts, especially when the device does not inherently provide strong authentication and authorization functions.

M0800 Authorization Enforcement

All field controllers should restrict the modification of programs to only certain users (e.g., engineers, field technician), preferably through implementing a role-based access mechanism.

M0802 Communication Authenticity

Protocols used for control functions should provide authenticity through MAC functions or digital signatures. If not, utilize bump-in-the-wire devices or VPNs to enforce communication authenticity between devices that are not capable of supporting this (e.g., legacy controllers, RTUs).

M0942 Disable or Remove Feature or Program

Ensure remote commands that enable device shutdown are disabled if they are not necessary. Examples include DNP3's 0x0D function code or unnecessary device management functions.

M0937 Filter Network Traffic

Application denylists can be used to block automation protocol functions used to initiate device shutdowns or restarts, such as DNP3's 0x0D function code, or vulnerabilities that can be used to trigger device shutdowns (e.g., CVE-2014-9195, CVE-2015-5374).

M0804 Human User Authentication

All field controllers should require users to authenticate for all remote or local management sessions. The authentication mechanisms should also support Account Use Policies, Password Policies, and User Account Management.

M0807 Network Allowlists

Use host-based allowlists to prevent devices from accepting connections from unauthorized systems. For example, allowlists can be used to ensure devices can only connect with master stations or known management/engineering workstations. [4]

M0930 Network Segmentation

Segment operational network and systems to restrict access to critical system functions to predetermined management systems. [4]

M0813 Software Process and Device Authentication

Authenticate connections from software and devices to prevent unauthorized systems from accessing protected management functions.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0015 Application Log Application Log Content

Device restarts and shutdowns may be observable in device application logs. Monitor for unexpected device restarts or shutdowns.

DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content

Monitor ICS automation protocols for functions that restart or shutdown a device. Commands to restart or shutdown devices may also be observable in traditional IT management protocols.

Network Traffic Flow

Monitor for a loss of network communications, which may indicate a device has been shutdown or restarted. This will not directly detect the technique’s execution, but instead may provide additional evidence that the technique has been used and may complement other detections.

DS0040 Operational Databases Device Alarm

Devices may produce alarms about restarts or shutdowns. Monitor for unexpected device restarts or shutdowns.