Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cyber security risk to smart grids and intelligent buildings

Date:
August 13, 2012
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Building owners and designers, and particularly members of the building services industry, are racing to implement intelligent buildings and smart grids, which are widely heralded as a boon in terms of both energy efficiency and facilities management. But many are overlooking the potential risk of malicious attacks on these highly networked control systems.

Building owners and designers, and particularly members of the building services industry, are racing to implement intelligent buildings and smart grids, which are widely heralded as a boon in terms of both energy efficiency and facilities management. But many are overlooking the potential risk of malicious attacks on these highly networked control systems.

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Intelligent Buildings International, David Fisk of the Laing O'Rourke Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation at Imperial College London warns that, as we have seen with the humble PC, the basic building blocks of intelligent buildings -- the process controllers that make up the distributed building management system (BMS) -- can be infected by malware, often through a 'backdoor' left ajar on a trusted network.

David Fisk notes that: "… the basic system -- for example, the bare minimum standby generators -- should normally be independent of the intelligent-building software (much as a warship still carries a sextant should the GPS be jammed)." And he warns:

"This is not current practice as far as can be discerned from existing ASHRAE and CIBSE standards."

Fisk's article, 'Cyber security, building automation, and the intelligent building' begins with a short history of the rise in intelligent control -- from the 1960s, when the only real threat was an irate engineer armed with a hammer, through the movement away from bespoke hardware and software to proprietary software such as the ubiquitous Windows system during the 1980s, to the post-9/11 emergence of the anonymous cyber-aggressor.

The middle section of the article then presents a review of a more recent attack, now known as Stuxnet, which demonstrated the wide-ranging havoc that could be caused by malicious software infecting plant controllers. This section also explains how such attacks now present a threat to the 'smart grid' and other open systems.

Finally, the article discusses how risks may be assessed and mitigated, using a hypothetical attack on the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems of a super-casino to illustrate the urgent need for the building systems design community to re-think traditional security strategies. As a minimum, building services professionals should deploy a 'whole-system design approach' and owners should plan for periods during which 'intelligence' is not available.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David Fisk. Cyber security, building automation, and the intelligent building. Intelligent Buildings International, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1080/17508975.2012.695277

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Cyber security risk to smart grids and intelligent buildings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813115448.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2012, August 13). Cyber security risk to smart grids and intelligent buildings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813115448.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Cyber security risk to smart grids and intelligent buildings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813115448.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins