German nuclear plant suffers cyber attack designed to give hackers remote access – expert comment

The Telegraph has reported that a nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses. The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE. The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

Alex Cruz Farmer, VP of cloud at NSFOCUS IB offered the following expert comment;

“This is a fantastic example of where the Internet of Things, as well as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) adoption, without the consideration of security has created a huge risk to an organisation. Almost every person who walks around today has a USB stick, or a device which can be turned into a removable drive – even your iPhone. With businesses now issuing laptops, rather than the traditional desktops, and also more of the worldwide workforces taking their work home with them, means we are, without knowing it, more susceptible to infection. The saving grace here is that the German power plants were isolated from the internet, which is becoming more and more of a technique for Enterprises to protect themselves.”