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Power plants, oil refineries face lingering security problems

Power plants, oil refineries, and critical infrastructure are not as secure as necessary, opening the door to potentially catastrophic security problems.

Published Sat, Apr 5 2014 2:40 PM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Security bugs in software could leave power plants, oil refineries, and similar infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks from foreign-based hackers, according to recent research.

Power plants, oil refineries face lingering security problems | TweakTown.com

To make matters worse, around 7,600 plants worldwide have software that a cybercriminals with the "lowest skill in hacking" could still be successful. The Yokogawa Centum CS 3000, released in 1998 and designed for Microsoft Windows 98, while companies need to evaluate if they should make immediate software improvements.

"We went from zero to total compromise," said Juan Vazquez, security researcher with Rapid7, told BBC. "If you are able to exploit the vulnerabilities we have identified you get control of the Human Interface Station. That's where the operator sits or stand and monitors operation details. If you have control of that station as an attacker you have the same level of control as someone standing on the plant floor wearing a security badget."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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