Computerworld - Last month's disclosure of a sophisticated malware program targeting control system software from Siemens AG has renewed long-standing concerns about whether the U.S. power grid can withstand targeted cyberattacks.
The malware, called Stuxnet, exploits a Windows flaw to find and steal industrial data from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems running Siemens' Simatic WinCC or PCS 7 software.
SCADA systems are used to control critical equipment at power companies, manufacturing facilities, water treatment plants and nuclear power operations.
Stuxnet is the first publicly known malicious software program written specifically to exploit vulnerabilities in a SCADA system.
The Trojan program appears to have been created for industrial theft but could just as easily have been used to sabotage a SCADA system, said Eric Knapp, director of critical infrastructure markets at NitroSecurity Inc.
The emergence of threats like Stuxnet drives home the need for more federal oversight of cybersecurity in the utilities sector, said Joseph Weiss, managing partner at Applied Control Solutions LLC.
"Hacking a control system does not take rocket science," Weiss said. "Protecting one does."
This story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an earlier version that first ran on Computerworld.com.
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- The Truth About Cloud Security "Security" is the number one issue holding business leaders back from the cloud. But does the reality match the perception?
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!