Texas power outages demonstrate grid cyber vulnerability and inadequacy of existing regulations

Recent Texas power outages and the loss of both electricity and water across Texas demonstrate how vulnerable ERCOT and Texas are to not only natural disasters such as snowstorms and hurricanes but also manmade and malicious activities. More than that, it also demonstrates the vulnerability of the entire U.S. Energy grid. The good news is […]

Don’t overlook the most consequential control system cyber events of 2020

URL: https://www.controlglobal.com/blogs/unfettered/dont-overlook-the-most-consequential-control-system-cyber-events-of-2020/ Two of the most consequential control system cyber events (attacks) in 2020 were supply chain attacks. The first event was the Chinese installing hardware backdoors in large electric transformers, an incident that prompted Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13920. The hardware backdoors are obvious control system threats. The second event was the Russian SolarWinds […]

The Chinese hardware backdoors can cause transformer failures through the load tap changers

As I was reviewing my blogs for a paper I was preparing, I found a nuclear power plant incident involving a station auxiliary transformer load tap changer (LTC) failure. Substation transformers have been acknowledged as the Achilles heel of the electric industry. As a result, the 2015 FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act contained a […]

Targeting Control and Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS): new escalation of cyber threats to critical [energy] infrastructure

“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill Introduction Industrial Control and Safety systems play an important part in insuring that the physical processes taking place in a manufacturing plant, power generation facility or other segment of critical infrastructure do […]

Spanish Civil War 1930’s Déjà vu and today’s cyber experiments on critical infrastructure.

Had a very productive training and tabletop exercise during my Center’s organized week-long event in Kiev, Ukraine. For more info on what we did in Kiev see ( https://enseccoe.org/en/events/268/tabletop-exercise-coherent-resilience-2017-core-4/details ) (1) I will share some of the “take-aways” from this week long event which included the participation of Ukrainian government, energy sector operators and private […]