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Wednesday, 24 October 2018 10:01

FireEye claims Triton malware has Russian links

FireEye claims Triton malware has Russian links Pixabay

US security firm FireEye claims that malware named Triton that was used to attack industrial control systems last year is connected to a Russian Government-owned research institute.

Triton is built to interact with Triconex Safety Instrumented System controllers and prevents emergency shutdown of such systems. The activity set of Triton was being tracked as TEMP.veles, FireEye said.

Last year's incident was at a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia which was forced to down shutters after the attack.

In a blog post on Tuesday, FireEye claimed the activity that led to the deployment of Triton was supported by the Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics, a Russian government-owned technical research institution located in Moscow.

FireEye has, in the past, claimed that the US creates nice malware unlike other states. The company has also claimed that it would inform other Five Eyes nations before it publishes a public threat intelligence report.

iTWire has sought comment from the company about these two points.

In response, John Hultquist, director of Intelligence Analysis, said: "The attack was dangerous and put lives at risk. Once more, the fact that an error brought operations to a halt proves the operators were not totally in control.

"We shared details of this with government and commercial clients all over the world in advance."

FireEye has not identified the location of last year's Triton attack as yet. In is blog post, FireEye said that malware testing activity suggested links between TEMP.Veles and the Russian institute.

It also claimed that the behaviour patterns of the attackers was consistent with the Moscow time zone.

While FireEye did admit that the Triton malware may have been created and deployed by rogue employees of the institute in question, it said the characteristics noticed were more typical of an organisation.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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