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28 September 2012, 09:24

Data theft at software forge for critical infrastructures

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Factory icon Canadian IT company and networking supplier Telvent has told its customers that attackers have recently breached its internal firewall and other security systems. Security expert Brian Krebs reports that the intruders stole project files that relate to control and monitoring software for industrial systems.

The stolen data concerns the OASyS DNA SCADA software which, according to Krebs, helps energy firms mesh older IT assets with more advanced "smart grid" technologies. Just recently, in mid-September, Telvent announced a partnership with security firm Industrial Defender to "expand its cybersecurity capabilities within Telvent's key utility and critical infrastructure solutions."

Telvent said that it is currently working with prosecutors and security specialists to establish the scope of the damage from the intrusion. The company added that, as a precautionary measure, it has disconnected the usual data links between its clients and the hacked parts of its internal networks. Telvent also noted that new measures have been put in place to help prevent similar attacks in the future.

Speaking to Wired, a company spokesperson confirmed the existence of the exploited security hole without providing any details of the stolen data. Talking to the online magazine, Dale Petersen from security firm Digital Bond explained that OASyS DNA is also heavily used by oil and gas pipeline companies, as well as water utilities, in North America. The expert said that an attacker with access to detailed project information could use this information to find vulnerabilities and then prepare major attacks on critical infrastructures. Since the Stuxnet worm, attacks on SCADA systems have been in the public eye because many industrial control systems were freely accessible online without any kind of access protection.

(Stefan Krempl / crve)

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