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posted by janrinok on Friday December 15 2017, @04:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the ooops,-there-goes-another-one dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984


Hackers who may have been working on behalf of a nation recently caused an operational outage at a critical-infrastructure site, researchers said Thursday. The attackers did so by using a novel piece of malware to target the system that prevents health- and life-threatening accidents.

The malware was most likely designed to cause physical damage inside the unnamed site, researchers from the Mandiant division of security firm FireEye said in a report. It worked by targeting a safety instrumented system, which the targeted facility and many other critical infrastructure sites use to prevent unsafe conditions from arising. The malware has been alternately named Triton and Trisis, because it targeted the Triconex product line made by Schneider Electric.

"Mandiant recently responded to an incident at a critical infrastructure organization where an attacker deployed malware designed to manipulate industrial safety systems," Mandiant researchers wrote. "The targeted systems provided emergency shutdown capability for industrial processes. We assess with moderate confidence that the attacker was developing the capability to cause physical damage and inadvertently shutdown operations."

The accidental outage was likely the result of the Triconex SIS, or "safety instrumented system." The SIS shut down operations when it experienced an error that occurred as the hackers were performing reconnaissance on the facility. Although the hackers were likely seeking the ability to cause physical damage inside the facility, the November shutdown was likely not deliberate.

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday December 15 2017, @08:59PM (3 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday December 15 2017, @08:59PM (#610458)

    You're absolutely right about Windows, but I don't quite agree with the last part.

    It's true: using Windows for critical infrastructure is incompetent and stupid. Worse, was this "critical infrastructure" system connected to the internet? That too is incompetent and stupid.

    But firing people into the Sun is uncalled for. It's extremely expensive to launch people into space, and the idiots who did this would probably die very quickly that way. I think a more fitting punishment is slowly lowering them into an acid bath. This will also be much less expensive.

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  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 15 2017, @09:07PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 15 2017, @09:07PM (#610467)

    I'm reasonable, whatever gets the point made. I'm like the left head of the three headed giant, "All right, all right, all right. We'll kill him first and then have tea and biscuits."

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday December 15 2017, @11:31PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:31PM (#610544)

    Just "invite" them to visit an abandoned mine for a few weeks with only one box of matches.
    They should feel very secure inside all that obscurity.

  • (Score: 2) by Tara Li on Wednesday December 20 2017, @09:22PM

    by Tara Li (6248) on Wednesday December 20 2017, @09:22PM (#612546)

    Launch them into space is fine - just aim for the Moon. Moon bases will need more organics for fertilizer.