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Has anyone heard the news on this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100104245.html

Basically it's "A sophisticated worm designed to infiltrate industrial control systems could be used as a blueprint to sabotage machines that are critical to U.S. power plants, electrical grids and other infrastructure, experts are warning. " Full story in the article above.

Living in New England power outages and/or loss of infrastructure are among the bigger issues on my list of scenarios to plan for.
 

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Personally being the Mgr of a computer repair company and seeing 1000's of viruses every day. I call anything possible but then again i call "zombie bull sh!^" because of several reasons..
#1 If there is such a virus and it makes "mainstream" media, then there is 99% chance there is already a "cure"

#2 Isn't this exactly that survivalists are all about? BEING PREPARED?

#3 Do you honestly believe everything you hear in the media? now dont get me wrong, it is still worth thinking about!

#4 There is a reason that there is a manual override "switch".

#5 There is a reason that "viruses" do what they do, because they have been programed that way, AKA very easy to trace there route, and override. If you can catch a "bad virus" back to binary code and just change a single 0 or 1 to a 1 or 0, odds are that this will distroy any and all active content active on the current "vurus"

I hope this helps you sleep a little better...

gmc
 

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Has anyone heard the news on this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100104245.html

Basically it's "A sophisticated worm designed to infiltrate industrial control systems could be used as a blueprint to sabotage machines that are critical to U.S. power plants, electrical grids and other infrastructure, experts are warning. " Full story in the article above.

Living in New England power outages and/or loss of infrastructure are among the bigger issues on my list of scenarios to plan for.
This is different than normal computer viruses because every facility's program is unique and to affect the systems in a meaningful way you have to know exactly what is unique about that specific facility. It has to infect the PC then connect to the PLC and upload a copy of the working program.

This is a virus that affects PCs but in actuality the target is PLCs (programable logic controllers) or the CPUs of industrial automation equipment. The majority of my job involves programming these controllers so I can say without a doubt that it's not something your normal hackers would care about nor have the resources to hack.

One other note. The only controllers that are affected are manufactured by Siemens. There's numerous other options available including Allen Bradley, GE, Mitsubishi, Omron etc. One solution would be to convert all the controllers from Siemens to another brand. This would be labor intensive due to the conversion of the programs, but it would prevent the virus from causing any damage.

Pictured in the article is a Siemens 400 series PLC Rack. It's the same platform that's affected by the virus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmable_logic_controller
 
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