By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
Associated Press Writer
July 19, 2006
BOISE, Idaho Federal scientists who study how hackers try to break into
computer-based controls for nuclear reactors and other automated
industrial systems are passing the secrets on to the private operators of
The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security
will sponsor free classes in protecting remote controls of critical
infrastructure during an international cybersecurity summit in Las Vegas
Researchers from the Idaho National Laboratory will demonstrate
cybersecurity attacks on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, or
SCADA, networks that regulate electrical-supply systems and other
automated industrial controls of potential terrorist targets, such as
railroads, chemical plants and hydroelectric dams.
The courses were held once before, in March, at a similar conference in
Orlando, Fla., sponsored by the SANS Institute, a Maryland-based
computer-security organization. More than 400 information technology
workers from 23 countries attended the classes, said Ethan Huffman, a
spokesman for the Idaho National Laboratory's national security programs.
"These are the people that deal with these systems every day and that's
who we want to help,"he said.
At the Idaho site, the Energy Department operates the National SCADA Test
Bed, which analyzes commercially manufactured control systems for
utilities to determine hacker vulnerabilities and strengthen security.
Homeland Security also uses the Idaho National Laboratory to analyze
security threats to computerized controls for non-energy businesses such
as telecommunications and financial services.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
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