Tag: manufacturing

A serious flaw in software used to configure programmable logic controllers could have a wide impact in the industrial control sector, according to a report by the firm Indegy.

IoT Set To Transform Manufacturing, Security is Obstacle| IDG Connect

The folks over at IDG Connect have a good overview of what the German Government calls “Industry 4.0” but many of us just think of as a branch of the Internet of Things. The blog post by Andy Roxburgh, the Vice-President of Systems and Service in Schneider Electric’s Industry Business, predicts that automation and intelligent machinery will lead to a transition from human-intensive low wage manufacturing to machine centric “smart” manufacturing that lowers costs by taking humans out of the equation and using automation to create faster, more effective and nimble manufacturing processes. “Manufacturers need to prepare for a world where value is re-defined,” Roxburgh says. “Winning companies will be those who automate their operations and use data to create the smartest processes.” No surprise: security is one major obstacle on the road to Industry 4.0 (as we’ve written before). “Universally connected devices, more data, and a boom of cloud-based technology means manufacturers and users have more […]

DHS Warns Energy Firms Of Malware Used In Targeted Attacks

DHS Warns Energy Firms Of Malware Used In Targeted Attacks

The Department of Homeland Security warned firms in the energy sector about new, targeted malware infecting industrial control systems and stealing data. DHS’s ICS CERT, the Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Response Team, said it is analyzing malware associated with an ICS-focused malware campaign. The malicious software, dubbed “Havex” that was being spread by way of phishing emails and so-called “watering hole” attacks that involved compromises of ICS vendor web sites. DHS was alerted to the attacks by researchers at the security firms Symantec (which dubbed the malware campaign “Dragonfly”) and F-Secure (“Havex”) -a remote access trojan (or RAT) that also acts as an installer (or “downloader”) – fetching other malicious applications to perform specific tasks on compromised networks. One of those additional payloads is a Trojan Horse program dubbed Karagany (by Symantec) that has been liked to prior attacks on energy firms. According to Symantec, the malware targeted energy grid operators, major electricity generation firms, […]

Printable Smart Labels Warn When The Milk’s Gone Bad

Printable Smart Labels Warn When The Milk’s Gone Bad

What’s been called “The Internet of Things” or “The Internet of Everything” is a revolution in computing that has seen the population of Internet connected “stuff” skyrocket. By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet (or whatever its called then). Today, the list of IP-enabled stuff is already long: phones, automobiles, household appliances, clothing. But, under the hood, a lot of these devices really aren’t much different from the PCs that grace our desks. They have hard drives, CPUs, memory, input devices, and so on. Most are still assembled in factories by humans and machines. This can be done cheaply and, in some cases, automated. But it’s still a labor-intensive and expensive process. But what if you could just “print” working electronics like, say, The New York Times prints its daily newspaper (at least for now!)?   That would change everything. For one thing: […]

Homeland Security: Hack Attempts On Energy, Manufacturing Way Up in 2013

Homeland Security: Hack Attempts On Energy, Manufacturing Way Up in 2013

Attempted cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in the U.S., including energy and critical manufacturing jumped sharply in the first half of 2013, according to a just-released report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). ICS-CERT said that cyber incidents across all critical infrastructure in the U.S. are on pace to double in 2013. The agency has responded to 200 such incidents so far  in fiscal year 2013 (October of 2012 to May of 2013), compared to 198 incidents for all of fiscal year 2012. A majority of those incidents – 53% – were against organizations in the energy sector, ICS-CERT reported. The report is just the latest from DHS about threats to the energy sector. The agency warned energy firms after seeing a sharp jump in attacks during 2012, when attacks on energy firms accounted for around 40% of the malicious activity directed […]

IT Security A Major Stumbling Block To Smart Manufacturing

IT Security A Major Stumbling Block To Smart Manufacturing

The Internet of Things holds tremendous promise for the manufacturing space. But smart factories may still be more than a decade away, due in part to a lack of solid IT security controls, according to a survey of 1,300 German manufacturing firms and academics. The survey of 1,300 members companies and universities by the German Association for Electrical, Electronic, and Information Technologies (VDE) found that only 20% anticipated adoption of “smart production” (or “Industry 4.0” – as its referred to) by the start of the next decade. In contrast, 70% of those surveyed doubted that smart manufacturing goals would be achieved by 2025, despite obvious advantages. Why the skepticism? One commonly cited reason is a lack of strong IT security. According to a write-up on SAP’s blog, IT security was the most oft-cited obstacle to setting up smart factories. Sixty six percent of those surveyed cited security concerns as a reason to […]