Video game on hacking control systems

May 23, 2014

There will now be the opportunity to turn loose a generation of hackers honing their control system hacking skills on video games. According to the videogame trailer, the game simulates more than 60 different hacks from your cell phone where you can manipulate traffic signals, cause blackouts, etc.  

There has been a significant amount of discussion about the need for control system-specific cyber security training. There are a number of organizations that offer different types of cyber security training including control system-specific training. Unfortunately, there will now be the opportunity to turn loose a generation of hackers honing their control system hacking skills on video games. The first one I am aware of is Watchdogs - http://watchdogs.ubi.com/watchdogs/en-us/home/index.aspx. The game is based in Chicago (Exelon-are you paying attention).  According to the videogame trailer, the game simulates more than 60 different hacks from your cell phone where you can manipulate traffic signals, cause blackouts, etc.  Unlike the utilities that are bound by NERC CIP leaving much of Chicago’s (and other cities) electric distribution systems effectively unprotected from cyber attacks, the hackers have no such limitations. This should be an interesting view into the future.

Joe Weiss

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