Hackers Attack Infrastructure Facility, Halt Plant Operations

In an attack on the safety system of an infrastructure facility, FireEye believes that hackers inadvertently caused the shutdown of the entire facility.

Hackers Attack Infrastructure Facility, Halt Plant Operations
Hackers Invade Infrastructure Facility, Discontinue Plant Operations

According to cyber investigators, hackers breached the security network of an infrastructure facility and stopped plant operations. The name of the facility has not revealed by the investigators and the firm whose safety software was attacked.

FireEye Inc. revealed that hackers attacked Triconex industrial safety technology developed by Schneider Electric SE. Schneider confirmed the attack and issued an alert to Triconex, which is prominent in the energy industry.

However, FireEye and Schneider refused to reveal the name of the victim, location, or industry under attack. Cyber-security firm Dragos conveyed that the attacked firm was in the Middle East, while, CyberX believe the firm was in Saudi Arabia.

“This is a watershed,” said Sergio Caltagirone, head of threat intelligence with Dragos. “Others will eventually catch up and try to copy this kind of attack.”

Cyber experts outline that it was the first incident in which hackers breached an industrial plant. Hackers have been giving an enormous attention over hacking into factories, utilities, and other types of critical infrastructure.

They added that hacking into safety system allows hackers to shut down the system before targeting other parts of the plant. This also prevents operations from determining and stopping destructive hacking.

Dan Scali, who led FireEye’s investigation opined that hackers’ actions unintendedly resulted in the shutdown of the system while determining how the system works.

He added, the hackers were likely to conduct a preliminary survey to determine how they could make changes in safety systems when they accidently caused the shutdown of an entire plant.

The cyber security firms have issued a public warning regarding the similar kind of attacks.


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