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SCADA: The Power Grid Saga
In an excellent report published today in the USA Today, Steve Reilly wel-researched work gives examples of just how big the risk from unsecured SCADA devices is.
As I wrote in 2009, in my article ‘The Biggest Hole of It All‘, our infrastructure, that is to say the foundations on which our way of life depends, are highly insecure.
For example, Mr. Reilly describes that in the Power Grid area alone, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reported more than 151 ‘cyber incidents’, representing a 36% increase over the previous years’ and an astonishing 487% increase over 2012.
The article mentions a 2011 attack on a small electricity co-op in Texas. What is really telling are the words (emphasis mine)
…CEO R.B. Sloan shared his surprise with the utility’s board of directors.”
Why surprise, you ask?
It seems that the CEO thought the hackers would aim for ‘something else’ to ‘make a bigger impact’. Is that not another occurrence of the Ostrich Syndrome?
Today, US President Barack Obama announced the creation of a new directorate within the National Security Council dedicated to Cyber Security. "Cyber Security is a strategic priority for the US" Further, he parallels with my suggestion below that OMB will take part in this effort. He also agrees that we need to strengthen public-private partnership Finally, he talks about points that I also outlined in my paper with regard to education! It is interesting to note that the President refered to the same things I have been calling for all along. The question remains: How and Who pays for it all? Where is the Budget?