Siemens has alerted its customers to the existence of a virus designed to attack and control one of its automation systems, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The German electronics company revealed that it had received a warning from one of its customers on 14 July about the virus, which is called Stuxnet. The company issued a statutory warning to its customers worldwide two days later.
“We have found out the software is capable of sending data, and it tries to set up a connection via the Internet. We don’t know where the data is being sent,” said Wieland Simon, spokesman for Siemens.
Researchers analysing the virus say that it can spread onto systems running Siemens software via USB flash drives, and is designed to inflict Siemen’s WinCC.
WinCC is a program used by infrastructure companies to oversee and analyse data.
According to Siemens spokesperson Alexander Machowetz, none of the company’s clients has yet been affected by Stuxnet. Siemens immediately isolated the virus after its detection.
Siemens has released antivirus software named SysClean to help customers eliminate the virus. It is available from the company's official website.