How to Damage a Chemical Plant over the Internet
Evidence continues to grow that many important industrial facilities are open to attacks over the Internet.
Jason Larsen must be the only person trailing two waist-high metal drums connected with pipes around the conference rooms of Las Vegas casinos this week. He brought them to the Black Hat computer security conference Thursday. And at the Defcon hacking conference on Friday he planned to make one abruptly crumple like a giant beer can crushed by an invisible hand.The loud demonstration is intended to underscore how vulnerable the guts of facilities like chemical plants or oil refineries are to expensive and life-threatening damage triggered over the Internet.In recent years researchers have shown that thousands of industrial control systems are hooked up to the Internet with minimal or weak security (see “What Happened When One Man Pinged the Whole Internet”). Details have also emerged about the Stuxnet malware, which damaged equipment used in Iran’s nuclear program.