Viruses Found Inside German Nuclear Plant
Gareth Andrews / 5 years ago
We’ve all had that scare when we’ve discovered a virus on our computer, either from a scan or a popup or unwanted behaviour on your computer. Now imagine if your computer had more than just your family pictures on or your bank details, imagine if it was within the same building something both awe-inspiring and frightening at the same time, something like a nuclear power plant. That’s the panic that power firm RWE had recently when they discovered that several of their systems had been infected with viruses.
The systems in question weren’t directly connected to the control system and with the control systems not connected to the internet, the risk of them becoming infected is low according to RWE. The federal cyber investigators in Germany are now studying to find out how the Gundremmingen plant became infected in the first place, with the viruses being found on 18 USB sticks used for the office computers but also a fuel rod modelling system.
The viruses in question were W32.Ramnit and Conficker, both of which focus on stealing details and data, with Conficker focusing more on financial details and logins while Ramnit focused more on stealing data as a whole.
The viruses were only found due to a routine upgrade to a block that’s currently undergoing maintenance, the result being with over 1,000 computers checked and cleaned of infections and security risks. While no direct systems were infected (and thus no danger to the public) it’s always worrying when the systems located just down the hall are used to control something as dangerous as a nuclear reactor.