More food for thought on the BP Oil Spill

Aug. 3, 2010

Per Goetz Liedtke on the SCADAlisterve, “Siemens is the market leader in oil drilling control systems.  The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had both Siemens and GE Fanuc equipment, but I believe the latter was in the Blow Out Preventer (yes, off-shore oil drilling rigs use PLCs or controllers in the underwater equipment - even 5000 feet down).”

Both Siemens PLCs and GE Fanuc PLCs have known control system cyber vulnerabilities. I googled Siemens PLC and oil drilling to get the following:

Per Goetz Liedtke on the SCADAlisterve, “Siemens is the market leader in oil drilling control systems.  The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had both Siemens and GE Fanuc equipment, but I believe the latter was in the Blow Out Preventer (yes, off-shore oil drilling rigs use PLCs or controllers in the underwater equipment - even 5000 feet down).”

Both Siemens PLCs and GE Fanuc PLCs have known control system cyber vulnerabilities. I googled Siemens PLC and oil drilling to get the following:

Control system structure
Controller with a redundant backup feature, consists of two SIMATIC CPU 315-2DP module composition; use ET200M will be on-site input and output points connected to the controller via Profibus bus, and through Profibus bus with five sets ABB Inverter communication; Manager's Office with SIMATIC WINCC software via S7 protocol and controller communications; and an external controller through the MPI I SIMATIC TC35T in order to achieve remote maintenance.
Does this look familiar from the Stuxnet worm?

We now have a devastating control system cyber incident (I do not believe was intentional) combined with the latest worm targeting this specific controller. Additionally, the control system protocols have no security and the control systems have remote access for maintenance. The Deepwater Horizon is not the only drilling rig with this configuration. This should make for a lively discussion in September.

Joe Weiss

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