INSIDER contents for September 2010

The September issue of the INSIDER has the following stories.

Stuxnet malware worse than expected, hides injected code on a PLC: all automation control systems at risk!

After the Stuxnet worm, all industrial control systems, PLCs and RTUs with embedded systems now have to be regarded as at risk. So says Walt Sikora of Industrial Defender Inc (ID) – but then he would say that, wouldn’t he, as vice president of security solutions at Industrial Defender? However a recent webcast by Sikora presents an excellent outline of the capabilities of the Stuxnet worm as known at present, and gives a timeline presenting the events of the past two months, as evidence for his assertion that “This is a very sophisticated, very scary piece of malware.” This was backed up by Nicolas Falliere of Symantec, who commented that “Stuxnet isn’t just a ootkit that hides itself on Windows, but is the first publicly known rootkit that is able to hide injected code located on a PLC.” He explains that by writing code to the PLC, the Stuxnet malware can potentially control or alter how the system operates. A previous historic example includes a reported case of stolen code that impacted a pipeline. Code was secretly ‘Trojanized’ to function properly, and only some time after installation, instruct the host system to increase the pipeline’s pressure beyond its capacity, resulting in an explosion. To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

HIPS protection against Stuxnet
Sikora demonstrated how the Industrial Defender Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), a whitelist-based technology, would stop the Stuxnet worm penetrating a protected system. HIPS is therefore offered as a valid method for in-depth protection of industrial control systems against such malware. It uses intrusion prevention and access management, and has no regular scanning issues, such as the scans used by AV software that tie up a computer or system for extended timescales.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk.

Workstations now have Achilles certification
Invensys Operations Management (IOM) has announced that Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system operator workstations have passed the Achilles Cyber Security Certification test, performed by Wurldtech Security Technologies. The I/A Series Model P92 workstations are the first host-based devices (HBD) to achieve this globally recognized benchmark for communications security and robustness.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

Perstorp installs CHARMS on Emerson DeltaV v11
Emerson Process Management will install the latest version 11 of the DeltaV process automation system for Perstorp, in Sweden, to replace and upgrade the existing distributed control system, an Emerson RS3, installed in 1984 to control the chemical batch process making pentaerythritol (penta), an additive in paint and lubricants. DeltaV v11 has I/O on Demand functionality, including ‘Electronic Marshalling’ to help minimise installation time and costly plant downtime during the upgrade, a critical factor for Perstorp in making the upgrade.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

Show-piece UK dairy processing installation

Siemens and Tetra Pak CPS have supplied a major part of the plant and automation control systems for a modern teaching dairy at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, one of the UK’s premier agricultural training establishments. The Siemens SCE programme allows educational establishments to purchase Siemens equipment at significantly reduced prices, so that students can gain hands on experience and get to grips with control and process instrumentation equipment.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

Pharma Suite 2.1 offers electronic batch records
FactoryTalk Pharma Suite applications now incorporate electronic batch recording (EBR) capabilities, being tailored to meet the needs of pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers. The new EBR capability is said to enable users to address exceptions and process deviations in real-time, reducing wasted time, money and materials. “Pharma Suite 2.1 is the next logical step to break the old ‘paper-on-glass’ paradigm,” said Martin Dittmer, FactoryTalk Pharma Suite product manager, Rockwell Automation.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER see www.iainsider.co.uk

Burkert expand into systems engineering
The Burkert Group have acquired BBS Systems AG of Switzerland, a developer and supplier of products and process engineering for hygienic applications in the biopharma, food and dairy business area.

Burkert have shown off their systems capability in a recently completed project on a new plant and wastewater treatment facility for Mersen in Holytown, Scotland, a manufacturer of carbon-based thermal insulation materials. Total project value was not specified, but this was not a bad result, based on an original request to quote for some level and flow transmitters!

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

PIMS designed for UK pharmaceutical plant
Industrial Technology Systems (ITS) has been awarded a project to implement a Plant Information Management System (PIMS) at the Brunner Mond Northwich site, in Cheshire, UK, a business originally part of the ICI Group. Brunner Mond needed a reliable, robust Management Information System to link to their Emerson DeltaV process automation system, and replace the current Prism information system.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

Petrochemicals and wind power suffer with tariffs
Protectionist tariffs are threatening the Gulf petrochemical industry, where recent multi-billion dollar investments in chemical plants have been based on target markets in Asia. The problem is not just about basic chemicals: look at the so-called emerging high tech products – like wind turbines and solar cells. Meanwhile Harting took resolute action against a Chinese company that had copied some of its electrical connector products, despite these being covered by Chinese registered patents.

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER see www.iainsider.co.uk

UK Robots grow in Food and Pharmaceuticals
BARA, the British Automation and Robotics Association, reports that in the first two quarters of 2010 UK robot sales have grown substantially, by 55% on 2009 figures, the first growth since 2006. There are two large growth areas: food and drink (a 172% growth since 2006); and pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare (194% growth since 2006).

To read the full story take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER, see www.iainsider.co.uk

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