Cyber security round-up

Shamoon hits Aramco, RasGas. Kapersky’s ‘secret’ OS. Tofino on ANSI/ISA-99 deployment.

A Wall Street Journal report this month provides a good summary of recent computer virus activity in the oil and gas sector and reveals that Chevron was affected by the 2010 Stuxnet malware. The Shamoon virus is said to have destroyed data on 30,000 computers in Saudi Aramco’s network—despite what the company describes as ‘rigorous protection technologies.’ Aramco claims however that its incident response plans and protections (firewalls and network segmentation) meant that ‘all our core operations continued smoothly.’ Shamoon is also reported to have hit Qatar’s RasGas.

In his blog last month (1802), Eugene Kaspersky described today’s industrial control systems (ICS) as ‘defenseless’ and unveiled a ‘secret project’ to develop a ‘secure operating system’ for ICS that can be built into the existing infrastructure. Kaspersky Labs is working on an OS that focuses on running a control system and that is ‘not intended for playing Half-Life or blathering on social media.’ The company is also developing ‘software which won’t be able to carry out any behind-the-scenes, undeclared activity.’

Those interested in a more conventional approach to control system security may be interested in a white paper from Tofino Security published earlier this year titles ‘Using ANSI/ISA-99 standards to improve control system security.’ The white paper includes a analysis of data in the Repository for industrial security incidents (RISI), a database of Scada system security incidents and an informative account of a real world attack on oil refinery.

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