The powerful piece of malware allows its operators to monitor energy consumption in real time, or to cripple physical systems such as wind turbines, gas pipelines and power plants at will. The well-resourced organisation behind the cyber attack is believed to have compromised the computer systems of more than 1,000 organisations in 84 countries in a campaign spanning 18 months. (FT: registration needed)That would be very nasty indeed - and its impact greatly magnified if the so-called 'smart grid' ever becomes reality in the way its proponents fantasize.
I was once heavily involved in the software industry, and it seems to be a truism that the worst profession for gullibility and general slackness when it comes to admitting malware into systems is - engineers. Bankers (who are under constant and very determined cyber-threat) and other businessmen appear to have enough native suspicion and skepticism to avoid more of the come-ons and tricks employed by the bad guys (a favourite one being a bit of simple profiling of key individuals, then sending them emails with carefully selected bait-links). I've been involved with enterprise-scale software being sold to banks, trading-houses and utilities: and it certainly seemed to be the case.
No doubt there are appalling cases involving bankers, too: but engineers are the worst. Trusting, inclined to take directions, overly optimistic about systems and human nature - who knows?
Any ideas ?