Iran's secret cyber files on how cargo ships and petrol stations could be attacked

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Former national security adviser, Lord Ricketts tells Sky News it is 'shocking' but 'not surprising' to see 'potential adversaries probing our electronic nervous system' and says revelations of an alleged cyber unit is a 'wake up call'. Read more:

Classified documents, allegedly from Iran, reveal secret research into how a cyber attack could be used to sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a petrol station.

The source said he believed the work is evidence of efforts by Iran to collect intelligence on civilian infrastructure that could be used to identify targets for future cyber attacks. Another, which looks at a German company called WAGO that manufactures electrical components, is dated 19 April 2020. The report said:"These pumps are used to bring water into the tanks through centrifuges and in order to operate correctly, the task must be completed with precision. Any problems could result in the sinking of the ship."

A spokesman for Franklin Fueling Systems said the company takes"seriously the need to provide highly reliable and secure equipment to our customers". But there was also a chart towards the end of the file that showed the results of what is known as a"Google dork" – conducting internet searches with certain key phrases enclosed in quotation marks to improve the accuracy of the search.

The documents listed companies that provide these services. They included Honeywell in the United States; the French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric; the German giant Siemens; and KMC Controls, another US manufacturer. "For our benefit, the best situation is for the PLC not to work as intended, and for that to happen, a project must be written in the language of ladder to have multiple exits, as many as possible. But the problem for this project is that we wouldn’t be able to assess the damage caused. The other option is to assess the weak points and dangerous points of the PLCs and software in order to attack our target.

Sky News shared the files with additional sources that would have the ability to tell if they seemed authentic.Sky News also shared the cache with the US cyber security company FireEye, which investigates the Iranian cyber threat as well as those from other hostile states. "Everything that was outlined in the documents really fits in with what we have seen from Iranian capabilities and the way they plan their attacks, the way they structure and divide up the work and go out and actually start the process of forming an operation," said Sarah Jones, senior principle analyst at Mandiant.


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