Dillon Beresford and Brian Meixell cancelled their TakeDownCon Dallas 2011 talk about Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) on Wednesday after a request from U.S. cybersecurity and Siemens representatives.
The planned presentation would have looked at how attackers can penetrate even the most heavily fortified industrial control systems in the world, without the backing of a nation state. They also planned to present a guide to writing industrial grade malware without having direct access to the target hardware.
“We were asked very nicely if we could refrain from providing that information at this time,” Dillon Beresford, an independent security researcher and a security analyst at NSS Labs, told CNET. “I decided on my own that it would be in the best interest of security… to not release the information.”
SCADA exploits have recently taken center stage in the international community with the creation of Stuxnet and its use to delay the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Combining traditional exploits with industrial control systems allows attackers to weaponize malicious code, something that previously wasn’t really possible.