Ezine 200 – Scary Stuxnet Hacking Story
How bad is this Stuxnet computer attack? I don’t know. But it made realize that if there is a really serious hack of core services there will be no warning.
No matter how good the fortifications, the locks or the security systems, history teaches us that from that gift horse at Troy in 1184 BC, to Kevin Mitnick in the 21st century, the invaders always find a way to breach the defences. That’s what scares me the most.
This Stuxnet attack targets Siemens Simatic PLC boards, which monitor external factors such as temperature. If the Simatic board was in a food factory, the hacker could gain control, cause a malfunction, and demand a ransom. That would not cause me to lose sleep, but what if the hacker took over a Nuclear Power Plant? Surely, they don’t use these Siemens boards? Well they do, and that’s what is so scary.
To understand just how clever, brazen, and chilling this computer attack could be I suggest you read the main Stuxnet article, which Paul de Brino has kindly researched.
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Some indication of the seriousness of the new type of threat presented by Stuxnet is the number of articles in national daily papers, and in Sunday supplements. The feeling is that rather than being a one off, Stuxnet could be the start of a new category of malware.
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Will and Guy’s Humour
In view of the seriousness of this topic, we are not providing any jokes this week.