Another case where process sensor monitoring could have prevented a facility shutdown

Canadian Copper Mountain Mining (CMMC) shut down their mill after a December 27th ransomware attack “as a preventative measure to determine the status of its control system, while other processes switched to manual operations”. Off-line process sensor monitoring of the physics system would not be susceptible as neither IT malware nor ransomware could reach the sensor monitoring or the process. This means that the mill may NOT have needed to be shut down if the process sensors indicated the process was not affected. As any IP network can be hacked, monitoring the physics of the sensors off-line is arguably the only approach to justify continued operation during a ransomware or other IT cyberattack. As some in the insurance industry are stating that they will not insure ransomware, one wonders how the insurance industry will view manual shutdowns that could have been prevented by the monitoring of the process sensor physics.

Control Systems Cybersecurity Expert, Joseph M. Weiss, is an international authority on cybersecurity, control systems and system security. Weiss weighs in on cybersecurity, science and technology, security emerging threats and more.