White Papers

In Germany, Another Cyber Weapons Test?

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Feb 10, 2015

This ICF white paper reviews the recent cyber attack that took place at a steel mill in Germany.

Was this another weapons test? As described by numerous news outlets, the annual report of the country's Federal Office for Information Security detailed the attack, which appeared to interfere with the computer-based industrial control system for a blast furnace at the mill. The furnace was reportedly rendered impossible to shut down normally, resulting in substantial, and possibly irreparable, damage. Just as in the Sony case, a real threat was demonstrated. The difference in Germany was the ability to reach and control a physical asset, not just gain access to information.

For companies with industrial control systems as part of their operations networks, knowing this threat is credible presents a window of opportunity. Control systems must be protected like every other IT system—with robust network monitoring, threat detection, and incident response—especially in machine-to-machine systems. We need to be prepared for most incidents like the one in Germany and, when they occur, learn everything we can from them.

Read the full white paper to learn more.