— Nuclear power plant near Munich attacked by two viruses

From La-Kabylie

May 1, 2016
Author: Djeferson Maurice

The company says it’s stepping up security after the incident.

Gundremmingen is around 120km (75m) northwest of Munich and the plant is Gemany’s most elevated yield power station.

W32.Ramnit allows hackers access to files and, potentially, physical control over systems; terrorists could access the information and use it to build a radioactive “dirty” bomb. It included Conflicker, a worm first detected in 2008 created to steal user credentials, personal financial data, and turn infected computers into “bots” to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. It is able to spread through networks and by copying itself onto removable data drives, Symantec said.

In a statement, the power plant Kernakraftwerk Gundremmingen GmbH (KGG) noted that the technical components used for system controls are detached from the Internet. “We saw the example of the blast furnace being destroyed by a malware attack (disclosed by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security); there was Stuxnet – malware allegedly created to physically destroy nuclear enrichment facilities in Iran”.

The BSI was not immediately available for comment.

According to Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for Finland-based F-Secure, various types of computer viruses can be found in industrial computer networks quite frequently, but are usually harmless.

“Operators and regulators have to understand that in an age when we see more than 310,000 new samples of malware a day, some of those samples might damage systems they were never meant to be aimed at”.

Because the plane runs a different operating system, nothing would befall it. But it would pass the virus on to other devices that plugged into the charger. The viruses were discovered in the B unit of Gundremmingen in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software used with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods.

After Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster five years ago, concern in Germany over the safety of nuclear power triggered a decision by the government to speed up the shutdown of nuclearplants.

Computer systems of a German nuclear power plant have been found to be infected with viruses, although no harm has been done as the systems were isolated from the internet.


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