ACS 2011 Conference Summary - September 20

I will provide a summary of the Confernece over the next three days. The final agenda can be found at There are several unique hallmarks of the conference:
  • Discussions of actual control system cyber impacts
  • The significant amount of discussion makes keeping a schedule almost impossible
  • Many of the presenters are not recognizable as they are not the typical speakers – these are the control system cyber security experts.

Tuesday September 20

High Points:

  • Ralph Langner discussed his forensic approach for discovering how Stuxnet compromised the controllers. Many of the vulnerabilities in Stuxnet were “generic” and could be used against any target. These vulnerabilities still exist. Ralph then discussed how he could take control of a controller (not just Siemens) with 4 lines of code. The exploit was not identifiable or patchable. 
  • Marcelo Branquinho discussed the two steel mills in Brazil with compromised control system networks. Marcelo also demonstrated how he could inject malware into a control system behind any Anti-Virus program which again means it is not patchable.
  • Tommie Morris demonstrated the use of Snort for serial communications.  He also demonstrated how easy it would be to take over a control system network before the communications reached an IP gateway. 
  • Jake Brodsky demonstrated jamming Zigbee in a control system application making the control system applications “disappear”.  The cost to do the hack was $60.