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By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
2nd November 2010
A search engine that indexes servers and other internet devices is
helping hackers to find industrial control systems that are vulnerable
to tampering, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team has warned.
The year-old site known as Shodan makes it easy to locate
internet-facing SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition,
systems used to control equipment at gasoline refineries, power plants
and other industrial facilities. As white-hat hacker and Errata Security
CEO Robert Graham explains, the search engine can also be used to
identify systems with known vulnerabilities.
According to the Industrial Control Systems division of US CERT, that's
exactly what some people are doing to discover poorly configured SCADA
=E2=80=9CThe identified systems range from stand-alone workstation applications
to larger wide area network (WAN) configurations connecting remote
facilities to central monitoring systems,=E2=80=9D the group wrote in an
advisory (PDF) published on Thursday. =E2=80=9CThese systems have been found to
be readily accessible from the internet and with tools, such as Shodan,
the resources required to identify them has been greatly reduced.=E2=80=9D
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