10 July 2006 | 4,568 views

Next Up – Hacking Nuclear Powerstations!

Cybertroopers storming your ship?

Now this is a scary though, with the digitisation of the old analogue power stations and the accidental cross-over of networks (as we’ve seen before) people could soon be hacking nuclear power station control systems..

he nuclear power industry is going digital — replacing mechanical systems with more efficient, networked computer-controls.

If that makes you nervous in a season-four-of-24 kinda way, you’re not alone. Last week, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to add cyber security requirements to federal regulations governing nuclear power plant security.

Scary eh? Something straight out of a sci-fi movie.

The main concern is that the next generation of digital “instrumentation and control”, or I&C, systems could all-too-easily wind up linked to company business networks, and, through them, the internet — all but guaranteeing they’d be hacked.

The risk was illustrated in 2003, when the Slammer worm penetrated a network at the idled Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio, disabling a safety monitoring computer for nearly five hours. The worm snuck in through the energy company’s corporate network, over an unmonitored connection from a contractor’s private LAN.

I think the whole world should be pretty nervous, don’t you?

At an NRC security briefing last March, commissioner (and Los Alamos veteran) Peter Lyons commented he was “very, very nervous” about such interconnections. The exchange that follows shows how nervous nuclear-types are about sounding nervous. From the transcript [PDF]

Oh dear..

Source: Wired Blog


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2 Responses to “Next Up – Hacking Nuclear Powerstations!”

  1. John Preston 10 July 2006 at 4:19 pm Permalink

    Woah! Al Qaeda will be jumpin’ at this one!

  2. antiss 19 July 2006 at 12:29 am Permalink

    interconnected nuclear power station accessible by unauthorized people… it could not be better…