Learn more about Stuxnet, the first computer virus with physical symptoms

Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2014 - 12:54 PM |
Tagged: stuxnet, manufacturing plant, siemens

There have always been stories floating around the net of viruses which could cause your PSU to short or release the magic smoke from your chips but until Stuxnet those have just been silicon faerie tales.  Stuxnet was first detected in 2010 in a uranium enrichment facility in Iran, a full year after the original infection took place and after Stuxnet had caused the physical failure of numerous centrifuges by altering the limits place on their cycling speed.  The virus was designed to infect Siemens S7-400 PLCs, as well as the Step 7 and WinCC software and Profibus communication used on PCs to interface with the controllers.  It was spread by USB drives as the machines were not connected directly to a network, the attackers went after companies which had maintenance, replacement and other types of contracts with the enrichment facility and who would unwittingly spread Stuxnet to the vulnerable equipment.  You can read a brief overview of the Stuxnet sage at Wired, they are promoting a book on the subject which will be released this month and should make for interesting reading for anyone interested in computer security.

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"Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm that came before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled."

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Source: Wired

SK Hynix Will Resume DRAM Production At Chinese Plant Soon

Subject: Memory | September 7, 2013 - 01:43 AM |
Tagged: manufacturing plant, Hynix, DRAM

SK Hynix experienced a fire at one of its DRAM manufacturing plants in Wuxi, China on September 4th. Initial reports suggested that the plant would need major repairs as the large black smoke cloud above the facility appeared rather ominous. Because the plant is responsible for approximately 40% of Hynix's DRAM output (which amounts to 12% of global DRAM supply), the plant shutting down for repairs would have severely disrupted the memory market and pricing of both individual chips and memory modules.

Fortunately, the fire was much less severe than it appeared. SK Hynix recently released a statement indicating that the fire was concentrated in the air purification hardware connected to the rooftop which resulted in the large smoke plumes. There was “no material damage” to the machinery used on the manufacturing floor in the production of DRAM chips. The damage was relatively minor and the facility will resume production shortly following minor repairs.

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SK Hynix manufactures DRAM and flash memory chips.

A SK Hynix spokesperson Seongae Park was quoted by Bit-Tech in stating that “we expect to resume operations in a short time period.” Also, Hynix indicated that its overall supply volume and DRAM production would not see a major drop.

This is good news for PC OEMs and enthusiasts as it means prices for the chips and resulting hardware should not spike and will stabilize sooner than originally expected.

Source: Bit-Tech