Optimism... or Special Interests?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jayson Wylie


As I appreciate all that Kaspersky Labs has done in the security community, a recent article found here perplexes me a little. 

It sounds either like the hope the world desperately needs for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) or is not actually the proclaimed ‘Silver Bullet’ for security of infrastructure systems. 

I do agree that there need to be an overhaul on accessibility and components of these critical systems.  The article itself states,”Such a colossal effort coupled with the huge investments… would still not guarantee sufficiently stable operating systems”

It seems Kaspersky, being in the security research field, would not lay claims as to being able to create an all encompassing ICS operating system which ‘will contain absolutely zero defects or vulnerabilities.’

What Kaspersky may be trying to do is just create protections from malware they are reporting as cyber weapons and may step up into the world of Industrial Control Systems for national or political interests.

I’m not saying this isn’t a great effort or idea but there are more problems to ICS security than the oversight of using Windows OS as base stations and connecting to the WWW.

There seems to be some political purpose of the current interests around Kaspersky Labs. They are becoming involved in investigating malware of ‘cyber weapon’ nature instead of maybe the constant pursuit of Trojan variants and financial fraud that is more damaging to the masses originating around their home office.

The one thing that makes sense to me is that they are initiating an effort to protect a specific ICS system common to Russian and Iran that would protect the systems from the likes or damage from malware affecting the Siemens systems in certain energy plants.

The article does give hope for all sorts of ICS systems but the job is easier said than done and should be pushed by the governments which run such systems. 

If the National Security Agency can lock down the Droid OS better they surely could come up with a streamlined base stations for Program Logic Controllers and influence the vendors and owners to create better protections for the designs of ICS/SCADA system components. 

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