Feeds

UK nuke station denies Stuxnet shutdown

No worms here, EDF insists

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A British nuclear power station suffering an "unplanned outage" has categorically denied any link to the sophisticated Stuxnet worm.

One of two reactors at Heysham 1, owned by French energy giant EDF, was taken offline yesterday.

Parts of the site are run by Siemens S7 systems, prompting suggestions the sophisticated worm is to blame for the shutdown.

An EDF spokeswoman told The Register the suggestions amounted to "conspiracy theories".

"I can confirm that on Heysham 1 there is no Siemens S7 equipment in any safety-related applications," she said.

"There is absolutely no link between the cause of Heysham 1's trip yesterday and any 'cyber security' issues".

EDF declined to give a detailed technical explanation for the ongoing outage, citing regulations that forbid the release of such information. The regulations are designed to prevent distortion of the energy market based on speculation over when electricity production may resume.

Security researchers discovered earlier this year that Stuxnet exploits vulnerabilities in the type of Siemens control system used at Heysham, and in Microsoft Windows.

The sophistication of the attack - the EU information security agency ENISA called it "a new class and dimension of malware" - led many to believe it had been created by a state intelligence agency, possibly to disrupt Iran's civilian and military nuclear programme. Siemens and Microsoft have since released patches to secure their software.

To date there is no evidence that Stuxnet has affected any British facilities. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.