ICS cyber security is the second coming of the Maginot Line – and the Chinese have breached it
40+ years in industrial instrumentation controls, and automation20+ years in cyber security of industrial control systemsAuthored Protecting Industrial Control Systems from Electronic Threats...
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Why would attackers hit defenses head-on when they could simply bypass them? The two transformer hardware cases along with the backdoors in smart transmitters led me to the epiphany that OT cyber security is like the Maginot Line from World War II. The focus for ICS cyber security has been on the OT networks, assuming all OT cyber threats have to go through the OT Ethernet networks where they could be detected and hopefully blocked. In the WAPA case (https://www.controlglobal.com/blogs/unfettered/presidential-executive-order-13920-was-not-due-to-a-malware-event-recent-and-upcoming-events-will-discuss-the-event) and the load tap changer (LTC) case (this blog), the Chinese went around the network cyber security and bypassed the OT cyber security Maginot Line. This occurred to me while I was going over slides I was preparing for the July 30th SURFA meeting. An individual familiar with the JSHP transformer case at WAPA reviewed the slides with me. He had mentioned that there was a knock-off LTC Load Tap Changer (LTC) in a Chinese transformer. I assumed he meant the knock-off LTC was at WAPA and included that in my draft slides for his review. However, my contact told me it was NOT at WAPA but at another utility, this one investor-owned.
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