Frank James links to a Hot Air piece about Stuxnet.

I have had a certain amount of personal, firsthand experience with Siemens controls, and I can tell you with some level of confidence, that the sooner Siemens and it’s subsidiaries and everyone who works there are parked, safely rotting away in the 8th circle of hell (they can occupy most of the malebolge) the better this planet is going to be.

With zero exception, every piece of Siemens equipment I have ever worked on, serviced, or installed has been a cluster of biblical proportions. All around the world, Siemens has used criminal methods to buy increasing market share and edge out competition. The product is unreliable and second rate, but they have a lock on a couple of key pieces of manufacturing technology that others cannot legally emulate; not that the legality would stop them, should the shoe been on the other foot.

The big selling point they use is what they refer to as their “open Architechture”. What this means is that there are virtually zero safeguards against making dangerous and damaging modifications to the euipment, the software that it uses to communicate, and the computers it runs on.

Other equipment, and other controls, like Fanuc, Mitsubishi, Yaskawa, etc. is closed architecture. What this means is it has specific limitations as to how it can be accessed. In some cases only specially designed equipment can even communicate with the controls. This doesn’t limit the systems; on the contrary, the equipment made by those manufacturers has logged untold billions of hours of trouble free operation, doing all the things Siemens can do. “Open architecture” in this case simply means “Any idiot can do any stupid thing he wants with it” and Stuxnet has proved the value of this to a skilled operator.

Siemens has purchased it’s way into the medical field in this country, by practically giving away equipment, then making their money back in spades through the ongoing service contracts, necesary to keep unnecesarily complex and finicky equipment running; the medical facilities are stuck with this because they can’t afford to have the expensive equiment sit idle and nonproducing.

The story at Hot Air and it’s comments tend to cast aspersions on the PC basis of the story; the PC software certainly had identifiable flaws, but the target was the Siemens equipment, and the programmers of Stuxnet simply exploited the PC flaws to get to the more critical target. They would have found a way if it were running an Apple or Unix OS, trust me.

Siemens were Nazi collaborators from the very beginning, and the blood is still on their hands; I have serious moral issues with them, and always will. Bottomline, I hope this awakens some of the people who have come to accept the Siemens party line and wakes them up to the dangers of dealing with these shysters.