Signals from Distributech, and Joe believes the CIA

News from Tampa


I am in Tampa at the Distributech Conference. Yesterday I had a panel session on NERC CIP compliance. Several items arose that were of interest:

- Questions were asked as to whether cyber events have ever occurred or if they are just national lab demonstrations. It is amazing to me the continuing level of unawareness that still exists.

- Several vendors are including Bluetooth communications in their newest transmission and distribution field devices including reclosers and relays.


As an aside, I now believe the CIA disclosures about cyber events are real. The attacks were through the Internet. It would be interesting to find out what systems were penetrated. That is, if they went thru telecom or electric distribution systems, utilities in North America would not even be looking as they have been explicitly excluded by the NERC CIPs. Obviously, there many more questions that could be asked that we will never have answers for. It was also interesting in CIA's well-founded concerns that if they were too explicit on the specific attack vector, people would only focus on that and not address other possible vectors. This is exactly what has occurred with the Aurora vulnerability.


If new information is gathered between now and August, it will be presented at the August Conference in Chicago.