Another Conficker style attack could cause the loss of human life.
Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist of Neustar and a director of the Conficker Working Group, claimed that if a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) control infrastructure were hit there could be a danger to human life.
Joffe said: “Industry needs to be aware of Conficker as it can be disruptive to the network and this could have been the case with Ealing Council. It didn't do anything malicious, all it did was disrupt and cause the council to lose income.
“I believe that at some point lives will be at risk. SCADA control infrastructure has its own subset in security and if someone finds a way, there are power systems and if they are infected they will cause danger to human life.
“When that happens, who will we look at? If they tell the machines to launch a denial-of-service attack, the botnets get instruction for people in critical infrastructure who will all say that they have no infection.”
Joffe previously claimed that he believed that Ealing Council was hit by Conficker, causing it to receive a £501,000 bill for the emergency recovery and in lost revenue.
Joffe said: “In many organisations they do not know if they have been infected by Conficker so someone needs to stop it at the security level and seeing that it was the first model of this impact, what will we do next time?”