How Malware Infected Control Gear Software

Control gear software drills its way into 10 industrial plants

Control gear malware image by Kentoh (via Shutterstock).
Even PLCs and control gear are no longer immune to malware. Image by Kentoh (via Shutterstock).

Whatever mobile device or PC we have, we are advised to keep on top of our updates. This is to prevent viruses, spyware or malware from entering our machines or devices. According to an article in The Register, this problem has started to affect control gear.

The survey, carried out by Dragos, found that ten Siemens Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) had been infected by the rogue software. Seven of the machines were based in the United States. It was claimed by the security company that the malware was specifically targeted at PLCs. Furthermore, it was stated that the problems had been in circulation since 2013.

Other parts of the study stated that over 3,000 industrial premises have been targeted by cyber-pests. Many of them were Sivis, Ramnit, and Virut trojans – some of these are triggered by infected USB drives, brought in by workers.

The findings were unveiled by Dragos at the ICS Security Summit and Training conference last month. From Nozomi Networks, its chief executive, Edgard Capdevielle said: “That ICS themed malware exists is not surprising, but it is concerning. The reality is that ICS networks today face all the same security challenges as every other IT network, but lack similar security options.”

So, if you have a Siemens PLC, tread carefully.

Total Control and Distribution, 04 April 2017.

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