False process sensor data can be catastrophic, but are not adequately addressed

The impetus for this blog was twofold: first, a Concordia University study dated January 24, 2024, which concluded that tampering with the electric system sensors could cause grid fluctuations, and second, my meeting with the engineer who scientifically documented that the radiation monitoring system outside the Chernobyl nuclear plant was compromised with false data. The […]

Getting Into OT

With all the public emphasis on infrastructure, many are asking how to “break into” Operational Technology (OT). It isn’t hard. But there are a few caveats. This blog is my experience and perceptions. There are others, so don’t take what I say as the only reality. There is a widespread perception that field work in […]

IEEE Computer article on identifying control system cyber incidents

The article “There Is No Chilling When Your Control System Cybersecurity Is Unfulfilling” is in the December 2023 issue of IEEE Computer magazine. The article discusses the importance of identifying control system incidents as being cyber-related as the identification is the starting point for cyber incident response programs. The example in the article is the shutdown of […]

Why is CISA not addressing the PLCs in the Unitronics PLC attack?

The Unitronics PLC hack is an Iranian IRGC supply chain attack against multiple US critical infrastructures on US soil (it has also affected international users) targeting the Israeli-made Unitronics PLCs through its customers. The CISA response has been less than satisfactory as this was an attack against the PLCs whereas CISA’s recommendations only addressed IT […]

Iran hacks US water system: Observation and implications of a terrorist attack on US soil

November 25, 2023, the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, PA had one of its booster stations hacked by an Iranian-backed cyber group – CyberAv3ngers. The booster station monitors and regulates pressure for customers within the City of Aliquippa and portions of two neighboring Townships. An alarm went off as soon as the hack had occurred […]

Cyber-related rail incidents have killed more than 490

Most rail cyber incidents have been IT cyberattacks. Existing government and industry cyber security guidelines have focused on these IT issues. The government and industry cyber security guidelines have often failed to address the control system cyber issues that have resulted in catastrophic control system cyber rail incidents. There have been more than fifty control […]

Forecasting where a hacker will go once inside an OT network

Work is ongoing in identifying cyber threats, and vulnerabilities, and locating hacker penetration in electric utility and other OT networks. However, existing technologies including IDS, IPS, SIEM, and SOAR can’t predict the future movement of a cyber intrusion that has successfully breached the OT network. Under US Air Force and DOE contracts, GCAS and its […]

Is A.I. the ultimate solution for protecting critical infrastructure from sophisticated cyber-attacks?

Kirk: “Machine over man, Spock, it was impressive, it might even be practical”; Spock: “But not desirable, computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them,” -From Star Trek TOS episode “The Ultimate Computer”. One of the episodes from the 1960’s TV  series Star Trek was called “The Ultimate […]

ISA MLM-38A “Identifying Control System Cyber Incidents” has been issued

[UPDATED 21-Oct-2023] ISA99 has approved the peer-reviewed Micro Learning Module (MLM) 38A – “Identifying Control System Cyber Incidents”. Those wishing to see the MLM should send their request to ISA99Chair@gmail.com. It is not possible to have an effective OT/ICS cyber security program if you can’t identify control system incidents as being cyber-related. Yet, OT cyber security is […]