Siemens is working to patch security holes found in its industrial control systems that are widely used to manage – and improve the energy efficiency of – public utilities, hospitals and other vital parts of civic infrastructure worldwide.
Siemens first learned of the security threats in May and December of this year from security researchers Terry McCorkle and Billy Rios. the Times of India reports.
Vulnerabilities reportedly include an “authentication bypass” that allows hackers to get around password protection on the control systems’ web-based interfaces and operate the system in the guise of a user or administrator.
Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory to users of the Siemens systems urging them to try to reduce the risk of being hacked by limiting the systems’ exposure to the Internet, the paper reports.
The first fix for the problems will not be released until January 2012, Siemens said. Siemens in currently investigating the latest round of reported vulnerabilities, it said in a statement.
In August, Siemens announced it was to implement its Spectrum Power advanced control systems for six companies of Endesa, a private electricity company in Latin America.
The Endesa Group will use the system in Chile, Brazil and Colombia.