Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SCADA Watch: Cyber-Covering Your Assets Is More Than Fending Off Terrorists

Walt Boyes and Joe Weiss write on ControlGlobal.com:

“We have information from multiple regions outside the United States of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,” said CIA executive Tom Donahue, in a written statement released at the SANS Security Conference held in January in New Orleans. “We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyber attacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.”

While the CIA may not be much more forthcoming for fairly obvious reasons, there are lots of clear signs that our infrastructure is being menaced by more than rust and corrosion. In process plants, in water, wastewater, power, nuclear power, pipelines and in transportation, the trend over the past 20 years has been interconnection—interconnection of devices, of subsystems, of control systems; interconnection to government systems, to business partners, and of control systems to business and enterprise networks. This has led to a serious problem regarding protection of cyber-connected assets in all those industry verticals.

More here.


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