Cybersecurity, General Electric, Siemens

GE and Siemens targeted by hackers

The US Department of Homeland Security announced midweek that computer hackers had s targeted control systems made by General Electric Co. and Siemens AG for water and energy companies since at least 2011.

The announcement has heightened fears associated with the risk of connecting public utilities to the Internet to make them more efficient.

Power plant control room
The technical breach hit software systems at GE (NYSE: GE) and Siemens (NYSE: SI)  that provide user interfaces and controls for industrial systems in manufacturing and power plants.

Siemens spokesperson Guenter Gaugler told Power Engineering International that the company “has been informed that a file discovered during the analysis of BlackEnergy malware can be associated to the product SIMATIC WinCC. On the 28th of October  ICS-CERT published ICS-ALERT-14-281-01 to document this case.” 

“Experts from Siemens and ICS-CERT are investigating this issue and will provide information updates as soon as possible.”

DHS didn’t offer evidence of who is behind the hacking or their location but the government memo mentions reports this month from private security companies.

These agencies tracked a suspected pro-Russian hacking group of using the same spy tool against GE and Siemens software at utility companies.