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.

Related Articles


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 December 21, 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 December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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