Florida city water cyber incident allegedly caused by employee error

The Oldsmar, Florida, water treatment plant was the target of a cyberattack in 2021, which raised concerns about the cyber vulnerability of crucial infrastructure. Reports at the time claimed that a worker at the company witnessed his computer being accessed and managed remotely. The amount of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, in the water […]

The National Cybersecurity Strategy fails to address fundamental control system and critical infrastructure issues

In May 1998, Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 63 mandated the cyber security of critical infrastructures be implemented by May 2003. Twenty years and multiple PDDs and Presidential Executive Orders later, the government agencies responsible for securing the critical infrastructures are still failing to adequately address the issues that can cripple our country and its critical […]

Regulatory gaps drive systemic under-reporting and poor situational awareness

Control system cyber impacts are visible – lights go out, pipes leak or break, trains crash, planes crash, etc. However, it is often not evident that cyber played a role. Many times, sophisticated cyber attackers will make a cyberattack look like an equipment malfunction. There have been cyberattacks by Russia and China on US grids […]

The need for correct, authenticated pressure measurements for reliability, safety, and cyber security

Correct pressure and other process sensor measurements are necessary for reliability, product quality, maintenance, process safety, and cyber security. These devices can be incorrect for unintentional or malicious reasons. January 13, 2023, Abhishek Sharma published the ISA blog – “The wisdom of correct pressure measurements”. It is a good blog but doesn’t address all of […]

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 […]

Process sensors are different than IOT and IIOT devices

December 2022, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued Critical Infrastructure Actions Needed to Better Secure Internet-Connected Devices (GAO-23-105327). According to GAO, the scope of the report was governed by a legislative mandate in The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020, which (along with conversations with GAO’s Congressional clients), which dictated the terms […]

More than 17 million dangerous control system cyber incidents are hidden in plain sight

Control system cyber incidents are plentiful (more than 17 million), dangerous, and mostly unidentified as being cyber-related Control system cyber incidents are more common and dangerous than most security specialists and industry leaders tend to believe. That requires some explanation. I have been amassing a database of control system cyber incidents since 2000 when I […]

IEEE paper on process sensor monitoring – what you need to know about process sensor cyber security

The article, “Using Machine Learning to Work Around the Operational and Cybersecurity Limitations of Legacy Process Sensors” is now available in the November issue of IEEE Computer: The paper provides a case study providing detailed quantitative results of the unseen deficiencies in many process sensors. October 25th, Dale Peterson issued a blog “the Weissian Level […]

Applying IP network guidance has harmed control system field devices and legacy control systems

I continue to be very concerned that both private sector and public sector policy-making organizations (square peg) simply don’t have the control system cyber security technical depth to be making decisions about cybersecurity of control systems (round hole). There have been many documented cases where applying IP network mitigations has caused very significant problems to […]