Kaspersky Labs recently listed two job openings on a headhunter website that led some news outlets and bloggers to speculate that the Russian cybersecurity firm was developing its own "secure" operating system for industrial computer control systems, such as those used in power plants and railways, to safeguard them against hackers and malware. These are also known as SCADA systems.
Now Kaspersky has confirmed to TPM that is indeed working on such a product. In a statement to TPM, a Kaspersky Labs spokesperson said:
"Kaspersky Lab confirms it is developing a dedicated security solution for industrial control systems. Due to the specifics of this project, we are not ready to reveal further details yet."
However, Kaspersky Labs was able to tell TPM its philosophy behind the system:
Kaspersky Lab believes that defending critical infrastructure objects from security threats – both general and, increasingly, targeted attacks – is one of the most important tasks we face. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that protecting our power stations, national energy grids, transport systems and oil and gas pipelines is a key factor in the survival of modern civilization. The reliable operation of these systems is vital to the lives of billions of people throughout the world – and defending the industrial control mechanisms which run this critical infrastructure is a huge challenge for IT security experts.
Kaspersky Labs was the first to report, in late May, the detection of the Flame malware virus, an information stealing program found in the Middle East. Kaspersky also played an integral role in analyzing the Stuxnet virus, which attacked Iranian nuclear control systems. However, a Wired magazine article recently suggested that the firm and its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, were connected to the Russian successor to the KGB, the FSB. Kaspersky the man has denied these allegations. Wired stands by its reporting.