Cyberattack on mill causes rare physical damage

Cyber attack
Hiroshi Watanabe | Getty Images

Damage from hackers at a German steel mill is only the second known instance of physical harm from a cyberattack, according to a report.

According to Wired, unknown hackers gained access to the computer network of a steel mill in Germany, enabling them to ultimately shut down a blast furnace, causing "massive" damage.

Wired cited a report by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security, which neither names the company attacked nor says specifically when it happened.

Hackers compromised the mill to the point it was "unable to shut down a blast furnace in a regulated manner," resulting in "massive damage to the system," Wired's report said.

The only other known successful cyberattack on physical infrastructure is Stuxnet, a virus widely believed to be created by the U.S. and Israel, which shut down portions of Iran's uranium enrichment program.