Yet Another Edition of “You Were Warned”

Dear unnamed power company/ies: Thank you for providing me an opportunity to post one of my favorite videos.

AGAIN.

You were warned about the possibility of security threats to your systems. Repeatedly–the video above is just one such warning. What’s it take to get through to you–a clue-by-four alongside the head? A massive, lengthy power outage you can’t resolve for days or weeks, with consumers calling for managements’ heads on pikes? A complete tank of your company’s stock value? The Department of Energy on your doorstep, taking possession of your site as it investigates you?

I love this part at 32:28 into the video where Ralf Langer says,

“…many things we thought about cyberwarfare earlier just were proven wrong. …”

Everything you thought you knew about infosec/cybersecurity needs to be revisited. The assumptions you’ve been using are clearly wrong.

Now get a frigging clue and revisit your security policies. STAT. You can start with checking these:

– No USB or other external media which have not been deeply screened for infection.

– External network connections to production equipment are to be avoided at all costs. Connections between corporate business and the power grid should be closed, dedicated network. Revisiting appropriateness of traditional isolation of production networks might be worthwhile.

– No third-party contractors permitted on site that do not comply completely with power company security policies, including spot inspections. (You do spot inspections, right? Contractors are screened coming in and out of facilities, right?)

What are you doing here, reading this? Get to work. RUN.

Dear U.S. Department of Energy: Um, hello? Did your brains’ functions suffer irreparable damage from exposure to BP’s dispersants?

It’s the only excuse I can think of as to why security measures and subsequent audits of the nation’s power grid for infections and intrusions from network and external devices haven’t removed these threats.

By the way, this 2009 document making suggestions to power companies about security measures is now out of date and needs to be revisited, in light of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s authorization of cyber weapon deployment and subsequent blowback risk, let alone the case of USB devices laden with crimeware.

Dear Fellow Americans: I really hate feeling like Cassandra. I’d love to see the power industry and our government prove me wrong by preventing outages related to security breaches about which they’ve been warned. At the rate they’re going, you’re going to end up on the short end of the stick, without electricity to read my anticipated future post which I expect to entitle, “I told you so.”

You might want to contact your government representatives and ask them what they know about power grid security and if they’ve actually done anything to investigate the safety of power in their district. If their understanding is shaped by the Department of Energy’s latency, they need to be brought up to speed and pronto. Don’t wait until you don’t have the juice to read my next post on this topic.

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20 Responses to Yet Another Edition of “You Were Warned”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Will_Bunch But, still, leaking this on a Friday 5pm dump is pretty bogus.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Yep, thanks, just found it. I never expected anything out of DOJ-CRD because their jurisdiction is thin, and very tough sledding
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Frankly, people, including the clueless Ben Crump, who put their faith in DOJ civil rte prosecution were always nuts http://t.co/32b2IB6ZGi
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Nevermind, found it.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Crap, do you have a link? Jeebus.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Building young men into football players is just like building upscale office desks.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Shades of Les Nesman and WKRP: "Blackhawk helicopter drops candy in Phoenix neighborhood last night" http://t.co/8dr19FzYzM via @azcentral
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Ah. We're a duplex. So 2-for-1 once you get up the steps.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ralonzo A military Blackhawk?? I'm going to go with terrifying!
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kevinjonheller Nightshade. Lots of people are allergic to other nightshades, right?
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 You must have gotten tons of Treaters in the old joint. All wearing professionally made costumes?
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kevinjonheller Lucky for me I have a quasi open air greenhouse--even strawberry plants aren't dead yet. Picked eggplant & some peppers too
14mreplyretweetfavorite
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