Lack of applicability of NIST Special Publication 1800-32 to process sensors

As there is still confusion about the cyber security of process sensors and other Purdue Reference Model Level 0,1 field devices, I was asked to review NIST Special Publication (SP) 1800-32 “Securing Distributed Energy Resources: An Example of Industrial Internet of Things Cybersecurity” for applicability to legacy process sensors. The title of SP 1800-32 is […]

The OT paradigm is broken technically and culturally – it must be fixed

On January 26, 2022. it became evident that the OT paradigm is broken. December 29th, the article was published that more than 3,000 smart instruments in a petrochemical facility had no passwords, even by default. January 21st, SAE/MITRE held a meeting on hardware vulnerability disclosures where IOT and ICS were not addressed including for sensors […]

Cybergs sighted: course correction required for critical infrastructure protection

“Engineer Scott, please report to the bridge immediately” Frequently heard in some 1960’s era TV shows Are we being encouraged to implement the right measures for protecting the technologies used to monitor and control physical processes found in critical infrastructure or have we hit a cyberg[1]? This is the question I asked myself when first […]

Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working

There have been almost 12 million control system cyber incidents globally across all sectors resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, and more than $90 Billion USD directly damage. Our article, “Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real—and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working”, has been published in the January issue of IEEE Computer magazine. […]

Cross industry meeting to address the gap in process sensor cyber security and process safety

A virtual cross-industry meeting was held on January 5th, 2022 under the purview of IEEE, with universities and standards development and industry organizations representing a cross-section of critical infrastructures. Essentially, “a coalition of the willing”. As process sensors are used in all sectors, the intent of the meeting was to create outcomes and a way […]

There’s more to control system cybersecurity than IT and OT networks – TSA is missing that distinction

Control system cyber incidents affecting pipelines, rail, and aviation have caused catastrophic damage resulting in multi-billion-dollar impacts and hundreds of deaths. Detecting cyberattacks against IT and OT networks can be done today. However, the same cannot be said for detecting control system cyber incidents (attacks and unintentional incidents) that occur with the cyber insecure control […]

Power grid cyber security recommendations still don’t address key grid cyber vulnerabilities

In August 2021, DNV published DNV-RP-0575, “Recommended Practice, Cyber security for power grid protection devices”. The Recommended Practice is important as it was developed based on the results of a joint research and development project with Fingrid (Finland), Stattnet SF (Norway), and Svenska Kraftnet (Sweden) and used by T&D India following the Chinese cyberattacks. The […]

The utilities are not addressing the cyber security that will keep lights on

On November 16-17, 2021 the utility industry conducted its biennial grid security exercise – GridEx VI. The exercise addressed the hybridized attacks of IT and OT networks which included ransomware as well as physical security. The lack of cybersecurity in the grid’s process sensors is a common mode vulnerability that affects both situational awareness and incident […]

Addressing Chinese-made equipment in the electric industry – a success story

Monday, November 15, 2021 a public utility commission in a hearing on a major new transmission project referenced my blog on the DNI report on Chinese-made transformers, https://www.controlglobal.com/blogs/unfettered/dni-identifies-chinese-transformers-as-cyber-vulnerable-risks-yet-doe-and-industry-ignore-the-threat/ in a question to the utility. In response, the utility stated they would not be using Chinese-made transformers in this project. I consider that to be a […]