Cybersecurity

Reader feedback: May 2019

Readers respond to several Control blog posts, Paul Studebaker's Editor's Page columns

Regarding Amanda Del Buono’s blog, “Off-site insights: Embeddable algorithm detects cyber attacks at sensor level,” finally, something we IoT professionals can use. This algorithm will be a handy tool for us. I work at Avitha.co.uk, an automation company in London. One of our jobs is to audit and secure IoT networks. If each of the devices is equipped with this embedded cyber attack detection system, our life will be much easier. Securing network ports will always be the priority, but these kinds of tools give us some peace of mind.

Nurul Alam
developer@abounde.com

In his blog, “Unfettered: Control system cyber attacks have become stealthy and dangerous and less detectable,” Joe Weiss says “Metasploits (hacking tools) were developed for the major control system platforms and made available over the Internet. It no longer took the sophistication of a nation-state to attack control systems.” That’s clear and scary. Digital has such tremendous advantages for sophisticated control, it's impossible to argue with using it. However, for all its Neanderthal-level logic, analog rarely lied.

Fairman Bockhorst
fbockhorst@tampabay.rr.com

I just wanted to say that I read and enjoyed the editorial, “Lying eyes.” I've also used code readers of one sort or another for most of my other cars and boat, and similar tactics for other "smart" home stuff like the pool controller, smart speakers, home alarm, etc.

While I love technology, it's frustrating how much diagnostic info for commercial devices isn't available to the public. In some sense, those of us who like to troubleshoot have one foot standing on the shoulders of car designers (or whatever consumer device), and the other on the shoulders of tireless crowds who troubleshoot things and are kind enough to post about them. The industrial automation arena is a little better with knowledge bases. I’m not sure about how the situation will improve, but until something better comes along, I'll keep Googling user forums and posting solutions when I can.

Paul Darnbrough, P.E.
pdarnbrough@controlspr.com

I read with interest the editorial, “Fossil fuels” You mention all kind of “solutions”—new technology this, efficiency that, but you forgot the most simple one: consuming less. Less travel, less big-screen TVs, less technology, less useless gadgets, less comfort, less luxury, less imported foods. Simply less.

But that's a hard sell, and I guess that's why we go kicking and screaming "technology" all the way when Mother Nature finally drags us from our non-negotiable, American (and Western) lifestyle.

Daniel Schoch
daniel@ichaus.us

Like this article? Sign up for the twice weekly Control Update newsletter and get articles like this delivered right to your inbox.