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Siemens Issues SIMATIC Security AdvisorySiemens Issues SIMATIC Security Advisory

Siemens has issued a warning about a potential hacker entry point in its SIMATIC S7 family of programmable logic controllers, along with recommendations for protective security measures.

Alexander Wolfe

July 7, 2011

3 Min Read
Siemens Issues SIMATIC Security Advisory

Siemens emphasized that the SIMATIC S7 advisory is unrelated to the Stuxnet worm, which sent shockwaves through the security world in 2010 when it took down computers at an Iranian nuclear facility.

"There's some confusion out there," a Siemens spokesman says. "The Stuxnet worm only affected our WinCC SCADA system running on Microsoft operating systems. That was almost a year ago. We issued a patch that is able to detect and remove Stuxnet."

The newly issued advisory specifically addresses the S7-200, S7-1200, S7-300, and S7-400 SIMATIC controllers. "The potential exists for an attacker with access to the product or the control system communication link, to intercept and decipher the product's password and potentially make unauthorized changes to the product's operation," Siemens said in a statement.

To prevent such hacks, Siemens hasn't issued a patch, but rather a list of preventative measures. "We're providing recommendations for plant managers to keep their networks secure by engaging in good practices such as changing passwords and having network firewalls," the Siemens spokesman says.

Industrial awareness
Any security warning, even a proactive advisory like new one from Siemens, is sure to spark discussion and even a bit of confusion. Some of the online stories discussing the S7 advisory seem to conflate it with Stuxnet.

About the Author(s)

Alexander Wolfe

Alex is Content Director of Design News. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of InformationWeek.com. In his more than two decades in the electronics and mechanical engineering sectors, he has served as Managing Editor of Mechanical Engineering magazine and written for Byte.com, McGraw-Hill's Electronics magazine, and IEEE Spectrum. He spent the 1990s at UBM's Electronic Engineering Times, where he broke the nationally known story of Intel's Pentium floating-point division bug in 1994. Alex has appeared as an industry analyst on CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC. He's a frequent panelist and moderator at industry conferences and holds a degree in electrical engineering from Cooper Union. He can be reached at [email protected].

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