But some cybersecurity professionals are waving a red flag over the Telvent hack. Dale Peterson, CEO of Digital Bond, a leading industrial control systems ICS security company in Sunrise Fla, says the Telvent attack looks much like one fragment of a far larger campaign targeting ICS vendors, whose products run the nation's critical industrial processes: pipelines, refineries, chemical plants, factories, and the electric grid.
Typically, stolen software code might help a perpetrator to leapfrog its competition in the global marketplace.
But in the Telvent case the theft could facilitate creation of highly reliable and dangerous cyberweapons, he and other control system experts agree. Its software allows old and new software to speak to each other — and control critical systems.
But if captured, the source code from such a product could be used to far more easily develop potent cyberweapons akin to Stuxnet , a hyper-sophisticated software weapon that experts say destroyed 1, Iranian nuclear centrifuges. Peterson writes in his blog. As to the question of who did the dirty deed, China's "Comment Group" is the leading suspect, according to an analysis by Joe Stewart of Dell Secureworks, an expert in tracking cyberespionage attacks.
Data from the Telvent hack appears identical in certain key respects to digital signatures left by a Chinese cyberespionage gang many call the Comment Group, but which Mr. Stewart calls the Shanghai Group. Stewart, however, has not yet analyzed the malware that infected Telvent and other signatures. So his opinion is based on a Telvent document listing digital signatures that was provided to him by Brian Krebs , the security blogger. Among that data are signatures Stewart has, over several years, tracked back through cyberspace to the Comment Crew.
In June, Digital Bond was targeted by a spear-phishing e-mail that contained malware. The firm caught it, however, before it got onto the company network.
Energy Sector Security Consortium, an Oregon -based nonprofit group that supports the energy industry in securing critical technology infrastructures, was also hit, Peterson says. Already a subscriber?
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