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Siemens Halts Computer Virus For Key Infrastructures: Utilities, Nuclear Power Plants

Updated on July 18, 2015

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant: Virus threatens World-Wide Industries -- Could This Happen Again? Unidentified Foreign Threats

Virus Attacked Large Scale Industrial Computer Systems that are used to Monitor Controls for Large Automated Factories, Utilities, Nuclear Power Plants and Water Treatment Systems
Virus Attacked Large Scale Industrial Computer Systems that are used to Monitor Controls for Large Automated Factories, Utilities, Nuclear Power Plants and Water Treatment Systems
Dangerous Virus Called Stuxnet and Spread by USB Devices Plugged Into Computers.
Dangerous Virus Called Stuxnet and Spread by USB Devices Plugged Into Computers.
Typical USB Device. Has Many Uses. Can Be Used to Insert Virus
Typical USB Device. Has Many Uses. Can Be Used to Insert Virus

Virus Called, "Stuxnet;" Spread by USB Devices

A concern is a virus such as "Stuxnet" could be used by criminal organizations, terror groups, or nations to sabotage power plants and other utility networks that are important to national security or well-being of the United States. As I had noted in another hub, our infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Most industrial control systems were engineered 10 to 15 years ago and virus attack was not a concern for industrial automated systems. Vendors are now entering into the discussions to devise, plan and implement controls to not be vulnerable.

Siemens AG said per article in Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2020, by Christopher Lawton, "the threat has been largely suppressed, but the threat has stepped up government and private-sector efforts to ward off future attacks."

The virus was detected in June. It was the first large scale attack on infrastructures. The German engineering giant (Siemens) is one of the largest makers of automated systems, making it a good target. Siemens in July released a tool for customers to detect and eliminate the virus. This a vulnerability for corporate espionage and national security.

According to Microsoft website advisory, a high concentration of reports of infection attacks, as much as 1,000 computers per day, are in Iran, Indonesia and India. (See above chart)

A related threat is software is made by thousands of programmers all over the world. Circuit boards are produced are also produced in many countries. Both may (highly likely) to have designed "back doors" that will not be noticed until the correct code, or instructions are given to unleash a planned action.

Our government is aware of this possible breech of "security." Computer programs are being utilized whereby "command and control" portions of the computers are limited to key sections only. Computers are being designed to operate on the "need to know basis" just like people are with Top Secret Security Clearances.

If a computer suddenly receives instructions to execute a series of actions that is not within given parameters, it will not perform the requested instructions and will notify the default alarms to others, or shut down on a case-by-case basis.

Next "Virus" attack unknown. The danger is foreign governments and terrorist can disable our infrastructure and shut down our country before any "hostile" action is taken.... We are vulnerable to many "distractions" while somebody "stabs" us in the back...

Related Information, Update:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Computer-Worm-Stuxnet-Hits-Nuclear-Plant-in-Iran

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    • dallas93444 profile image
      Author

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Absolutely! However, it does not preclude there can be a pre-planned disaster (EQUIPMENT DESTROYED)to destroy a nuclear plant via software...

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Let's be clear: The Chernobyl disaster was not caused by a computer virus.

    • dallas93444 profile image
      Author

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Thanks.... I know than I can say...

    • World-Traveler profile image

      World-Traveler 7 years ago from USA

      I returned here because I wanted to read the informative content again as I just started reading "Hong Kong" by writer Stephen Coonts. There is a lot of what you write about in his book. Very real, and very possible. Amazing. Voted two thumbs up!

    • dallas93444 profile image
      Author

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      World-Traveler, My book, "Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma" fiction based upon actual events, created a need for lots of research. I became aware of "clear and present dangers." It is not for the faint-of-heart..." The above noted danger is only a single element in the "basket" of concerns...

      Artificial Intelligence (AI) may go either way: "Good, or Bad..." Depends who/what is in charge...

      We cannot image what 25 years in the future will be... Our military and government has exceeded already our imaginations...

    • World-Traveler profile image

      World-Traveler 7 years ago from USA

      Thank you for that! I was not aware of this information. I wonder what the world of computing will be like in another 25 years.

    • dallas93444 profile image
      Author

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      MartieCoetser, Not presently, but there are those who's ambition is to create AI where they can "heal" (AKA repair) themselves. It will come.... Artificial Intelligence is the new frontier...

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      How scary! Do you really think computers will be able to reproduce themselves? Thanks for the interesting information!

    • dallas93444 profile image
      Author

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      TheManWithNoPants, I wish more people was aware how vulnerable we are... Our paradigm shift is Artificial Intelligence (AI). When computers (10-15 years from now) ARE ABLE TO REPRODUCE THEMSELVES AND HAVE SUPPERIOR KNOWLEDGE AND INTELLECT, we must determine, re-evaluate who we are and the extent our existence is threatened as we know it....

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image

      TheManWithNoPants 7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Excellent. This is something that has always sacred the crap out of me. Technology is great, but in the end I'm afraid we'll just out smart ourselves.

      Thumbs up, useful, awesome.

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