Cyber-attack Threatens Manufacturing Software Systems Worldwide

New Windows-based malware commits corporate espionage by targeting industrial automation systems through Siemens’ SIMATIC SCADA technology, experts say.

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Posted on Jul 19, 2010

Update: On July 22, 2010, Siemens issued a notification that it now has a "tool available to detect and remove the virus" detailed in the story below. The tool is accessible on Siemens' website.

Manufacturers worldwide have been put on notice that an insidious virus targeting supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems is on the loose.

The targets of the malware are Siemens’ SIMATIC WinCC and PCS7 software, integral components of the distributed control and SCADA systems that facilitate production operations in many process manufacturing companies.

Siemens learned of the virus, dubbed the Stuxnet family of malware, on July 14 and began notifying customers, according to a company spokesman. But the alert took on added urgency today when Eric Byres, an industrial security expert and the purveyor of the Tofino industrial cyber-security product, distributed an e-mail detailing the threat. Byres called the virus a “potentially serious threat to the control system world,” and speculated that its raison d’être is “industrial espionage — that is, to steal intellectual property from SCADA and process control systems.”

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