Siemens says no industrial plant hit by virus

FRANKFURT, July 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Siemens (SIEGn.DE: ) said none
of the many thousands of industrial plants using its automation
control systems have been affected so far by a computer virus
hackers have built to attack the Siemens software.

Spokesman Alexander Machowetz told Reuters on Wednesday only
one customer has been identified so far who uses the software
and has been affected, but even in this single case the virus
was detected before the industrial control system was installed
in the plant.

The customer is based in Germany, he said.

Hackers have built a computer virus that attacks Siemens
(SIEGn.DE: ) widely used industrial control systems, creating
malicious software that analysts said can be used for espionage
and sabotage.

The German company said the malware is a Trojan worm dubbed
Stuxnet that spreads via infected USB thumb drives, exploiting a
yet-to-be-patched vulnerability in Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: )
Windows operating system. [ID:nN1929196]

Machowetz told Reuters on Wednesday Siemens is working with
Microsoft to find a solution at the operating system level to
close the security break.

“Until this solution is available, we support our users with
different measures to help protect their facilities,” he said.

“What is very important is that due to the fact that the
software is spread via USB sticks, and based on our current
information, there is no industrial plant affected at all so
far,” he said.

“There isn’t any case of damage caused at our customers’
site, so far, based on current information,” he added.

He declined to give the number of customers using Siemens’
Simatic WinnCC SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition)
systems, saying only these number “several thousands worldwide”.

Analysts said Siemens is the world number one maker of
industrial automation control systems, which are also the
company’s bread-and-butter.

The systems, which compete with those from Rockwell (ROK.N: )
and Emerson, are used in manufacturing processes such as food,
automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

Machowetz said the company still does not know the
originator of the malware.
“We do not know what the virus actually does. We are testing
and so we are learning how this virus functions. It seems that
this virus is attacking WinCC data and searching for it,” he
said.

Machowetz said Siemens will offer to customers by Thursday
at the latest up-to-date virus scanners to detect and eliminate
the virus as well as providing security updates.

Stock Today

(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)

Siemens says no industrial plant hit by virus