Attacks/Breaches
4/19/2011
01:03 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Iranian Official Claims Siemens Partially Responsible For Stuxnet

The Iranian military has accused German electronics and industrial engineering firm Siemens of taking part in the development of the Stuxnet worm.

We'll probably never know conclusively who wrote and released Stuxnet. Consensus points to the United States and Israel, in an alleged attempt to damage the Iranian nuclear program at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Previously, Iranian officials asserted that the malware had not caused any damage to its nuclear program.

Now, if a recent Reuters story is accurate, an Iranian military commander accuses Siemens of helping in the creation of Stuxnet:

Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran's civilian defense, said the Stuxnet virus aimed at Iran's atomic program was the work of its two biggest foes and that the German company must take some of the blame.

Siemens declined to comment.

"The investigations show the source of the Stuxnet virus originated in America and the Zionist regime," Jalali was quoted as saying.

Jalali said Iran should hold Siemens responsible for the fact that its control systems used to operate complicated factory machinery--known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)--had been hit by the worm.

I doubt Siemens had anything to do with the direct creation of the Stuxnet worm. And I certainly haven't read or seen any evidence that would point to this possibility being so. Most likely, whoever designed the worm--to the degree they needed or wanted assurance that it would work as designed--had the finances to purchase equipment that mirrored the equipment at Bushehr and designed the worm and payload accordingly.

If Siemens did play a role in the development of Stuxnet, it was probably a passive one: they provided the necessary software so that vulnerabilities could be uncovered. Or, perhaps they had their software evaluated at Idaho National Labs and--totally unknown to them--the U.S. took that opportunity to discover and pocket a number of zero days.

Additionally, not only is Iran talking about holding Siemens responsible, but a couple of months ago the Iranian Deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the country would take "pre-emptive" strikes against the powers it believes launched the attack.

How well would the U.S. fair in an attack on the power grid? Probably not very well if a recent Ponemon Institute survey is to be believed. In its survey, it found that three-quarters of energy companies and utilities experienced one or more data breaches in the past 12 months. Additionally, 69% of those surveyed believe another data breach is very likely to occur within the next year.

Let's hope they're wrong.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.