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Hacking the Industrial Network
Industrial control networks are highly vulnerable to intelligent remote attacks, as well as non-intelligent viruses. With threats to these networks increasing in complexity and scope, decision makers need to take action before it's too late.
Malicious code, a Trojan program deliberately inserted into SCADA system software, manipulated valve positions and compressor outputs to cause a massive natural gas explosion along the Trans-Siberian pipeline, according to 2005 testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee by a Director from Sandia National Laboratories. According to the Washington Post, the resulting fireball yielded "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space." The explosion was subsequently estimated at the equivalent of 3 kilotons. (In comparison, the 9/11 explosions at the World Trade Center were roughly 0.1 kiloton.)
According to Internet blogs and reports, hackers have begun to discover that SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and DCS (Distributed Control Systems) are "cool" to hack. The interest of hackers has increased since reports of successful attacks began to emerge after 2001. A security consultant interviewed by the in-depth news program, PBS Frontline, told them "Penetrating a SCADA system that is running a Microsoft operating system takes less than two minutes." DCS, SCADA, PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and other legacy control systems have been used for decades in power plants and grids, oil and gas refineries, air traffic and railroad management, pipeline pumping stations, pharmaceutical plants, chemical plants, automated food and beverage lines, industrial processes, automotive assembly lines, and water treatment plants.
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