Home » U.S. Feds target control systems hackers
U.S. Feds target control systems hackers
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT of Homeland Security will spend $11.7 million on research to secure the computer-aided control systems that operate the nation’s critical infrastructure. The new funds announced in June 2005 will help continue studies in cyber security that started last year at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
“We’re at the point where industry is beginning to recognize the potential threats of unsecured control systems and they are more willing to work with government agencies to improve the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure,” said Julio Rodriguez, department manager for critical infrastructure assurance at INL.
The computers that control infrastructure have become increasingly vulnerable to hacker attack. Standard software, ubiquitous Internet connections, and more available information have combined to make bringing down the power grid, flooding a sewer system, or opening a dam relatively easy (see Hacking the Grid).
Still, some security experts are nonplused by the potential threat. “There’s not a Windows box with a big button that says, ‘Open the dam,’” said Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer at eEye Digital Security. “But there is a Windows box that says, ‘Hey, we’re having more pressure. We need to release some water through the dam.’ If those notifications aren’t going off, you could have a problem.”
The DHS has already granted $2.5 million to 13 companies through its Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Small Business Innovation Research Grants. Last year, the department spent $10 million on similar research at INL.
Past Time to Upgrade Your DCS?
Upgrading Your DCS: Why You May Need to Do It Sooner Than You Think
Friday p.m. Wrap-Up:This Week on ControlGlobal and Elsewhere
Some of the week's biggest stories in process automation
What's Bad Weather Costing Us?
U.S. taxpayers paid nearly $100 billion responding to damages caused by last year’s extreme weather events associated with climate change, about $1,100 per taxpayer, according to an analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
BP, Shell, Statoil Raided by EC
European Commission investigators raided the offices of oil companies BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil as well as data collector Platts as part of a larger inquiry into price manipulation of the global crude market.
Invensys' SimSci Suite 2013 Now with More Usability Features
Invensys releases SimSci Suite 2013, a DVD catalogue providing a single source for all of Invensys' current SimSci-Esscor design, operator training, simulation and optimization software
What We Can Learn About Safety from the Titanic Hearings
This report from the U.K. publication The Engineer is instructive. It reprints a report from the May, 1912 hearings on the sinking of the Titanic.
Honeywell Integrates and Certifies FMC722 Subsea Automation Protocol
The integration and certification of these solutions will boost the productivity of oil and gas field operators and engineers
Monsanto Muscatine named 2012 HART Plant of the Year
The HART Communication Foundation today announces that the Monsanto chemical manufacturing plant located in Muscatine, Iowa, USA, was selected as recipient of the 2012 HART Plant of the Year Award.
Siemens Gas Chromatograph Is ISA Product of the Year
Siemens Industry, Inc. has been awarded the prestigious ISA Analysis Division Product of the Year Award for 2013 for its Maxum edition II gas chromatograph featuring a new modular oven and color touch panel display.
IChemE Issues Call for Papers for Fall Conference
Scotland will host a new international symposium on the future of the oil and gas industry later this year, and papers are now being invited on key issues including shale gas, carbon management and the future of refining and petrochemicals in Europe.
- All news »
Access the entire print issue on-line and be notified each month via e-mail when your new issue is ready for you. Subscribe today.
- Featured White Papers