Unfettered Blog

Lightbulbs Slowing Going on over Control System “Cyber Incidents”

I had a meeting Wednesday morning with an IEEE standards committee on cyber security of substation devices. Following that, Marshall Abrams from MITRE and I gave a presentation at RSA, which is billed as the world’s largest cyber security conference.

Now It’s Official

The following report by Ryan Singel appeared at Wired.com yesterday. April 09, 2008  On June 10, 1999, a 16-inch diameter steel pipeline operated by the now-defunct Olympic Pipeline Co. ruptured near Bellingham, Washington, flooding two local creeks with 237,000 gallons of gasoline.

What’s Missing?

I have been involved in hosting a conference on control system cybersecurity for seven years. It has always been held with a focus on and with the perspective of a control systems engineer. Several events have “opened my eyes” to what seems to be missing: * Design issues.

Why Aren’t Solutions Addressing Problems?

I read about, or attend, government programs, industry programs, and industry conferences that purport to have solutions for “SCADA security”. All I can do is shrug my shoulders.  There are several fundamental issues that have not yet been addressed: - There is still a dreadful lack of understanding about legacy...

Nuclear plant cyber security has a ways to go

As a nuclear engineer who has worked inside and outside of the nuclear industry, I have my thoughts on why nuclear plants are so far behind non-nuclear facilities in securing control systems. I spent 5 years managing the EPRI Nuclear Plant Instrumentation and Diagnostics Program.

KYFHO: Why IT needs to keep its distance from control systems or learn how to do it right

Why IT needs to keep its distance from control systems Several actual events and tests have shed new light on why IT needs to understand the issues with control systems before things go uncontrollably wrong. That is, control systems (Operations) coordination and leadership is absolutely required before those networks are...

Nanny nanny boo boo…or is it? Walt Boyes comments…

Today, we received a press release from a security company, announcing that they had found a vulnerability in a piece of third-party software. We often get these. I'm not naming names. What we DON'T get, however, is the context.

A complete, and still generic, response to Mark

Since Mark has brought up the issue, I think it is time for a complete response. It may ruffle some feathers. When I first got involved in cyber security at EPRI in February 2000, we had to make a decision as to what should be the scope of the program.

If pigs could fly…

I had a telephone and email exchange today with an international electric industry security standards committee that I would like to share. It goes to the heart of the issue that there is little knowledge and understanding of control system cyber security issues and the resulting training that is required.

More on Wurldtech’s Delphi database

Here's the official press release from Steve Kim at Wurldtech. I'm posting it, because Joe is quoted in it, and he is the shy and retiring type, and doesn't want to blow his own horn (not). Walt