Blogs: Critical Infrastructure

  • Smart Grid Security Jitters

    by Gib Sorebo on April 21, 2010

    Over the last couple years, those in the Smart Grid security community have witnessed a number of news reports on vulnerabilities with Smart Grid technology that are not particularly flattering. For example, a widely circulated AP article called into question the security of various smart meters currently being deployed. However, the article left out some of the caveats noted during their…

  • Reflections on Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure Track at RSA

    by Gib Sorebo on March 17, 2010

    Now that the RSA Conference is a pleasant memory, I wanted to reflect on the newly renamed Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure Track. In response to growing interest in maintaining the security of power plants, chemical facilities, pipelines, transportation systems, and many other industries dominated by industrial control systems and related equipment, RSA Conference organizers added…

  • The Many Shades of Project Grey Goose

    by Gib Sorebo on February 8, 2010

    As I noted in my previous post about a recent 60 Minutes segment, we often rely on rumor and innuendo as the basis for journalism in critical infrastructure. If a current or former high-ranking public official says he heard something, then it must be true. Unfortunately, Project Grey Goose, whose stated objective was “to answer the question of whether there has been any successful hacker attacks…

  • Cracking Down on SCADA Security

    by Gib Sorebo on January 21, 2010

    Critical infrastructure encompasses a vast array of industries and their associated platforms for control and monitoring of such critical functions as the delivery of water and electricity, operation of mass transit systems, and automation of our factories. While the devices differ, many are managed by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that define how transformers, braking…

  • Will convergence make the problem worse?

    by Gib Sorebo on January 12, 2010

    As I had written earlier, there seems to be a resurgence in the interest in converge security. Like any resurgence, the second time around often looks different. In this case, advancements in technology and the increasing use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based components for video surveillance, motion detection, and other physical security controls has led the use of common networks for all this…

  • Converged Security on a Comeback?

    by Gib Sorebo on December 28, 2009

    After the attacks of September 11, 2001, there was a renewed interest in an area known as “converged security.” This relatively straightforward concept called for the merging of the physical security and information security domains to address multi-domain attacks and leverage the strengths of each domain. For example, physical security folks are often better at investigations due to their more…

  • The Next NERC CIP

    by Gib Sorebo on December 14, 2009

    Last week I attended a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection Conference in Atlanta hosted by Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI). The presentations were enlightening, particularly one that focused on the next version of the NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards. As I noted in my first post, debates continue to rage about…

  • Going Old School

    by Gib Sorebo on December 2, 2009

    The world of information technology and electronics has produced spectacular advancements in the way we live. Technologies that once required human intervention can now be automated with the tasks to be performed hidden from view. While that has made our lives easier, it doesn’t always pique our curiosity. We have to admit that it’s usually a lot more fun to watch a demonstration where something…

  • CFATS: Is the Danger Real?

    by Gib Sorebo on November 30, 2009

    As we get closer to the RSA Conference in March, I want to highlight some of the topics scheduled to be part of the Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure track. The subjects cover an array of issues from lock picking to the integrity of the electrical grid. One topic that is gaining increasing attention is the security of chemical plants. Given the potential terrorist applications of…

  • More FUD from the Mainstream Media?

    by Gib Sorebo on November 11, 2009

    Many of you may have watched the “60 Minutes” segment on Sunday entitled “Sabotaging the System.” The 20-minute segment highlighted a number of alleged past and potential cyber attacks, including power outages in Brazil, an attack on the military’s Central Command, and theft of millions through hacks of ATM networks. Beyond somelegitimate disputes as to whether the Brazilian blackouts were caused…

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