First real-world SCADA attack in US

Mark Radabaugh mark at
Mon Nov 21 15:46:03 CST 2011

On 11/21/11 4:38 PM, Charles Mills wrote:
> Having worked on plenty of industrial and other control systems I can 
> safely say security on the systems is generally very poor.   The 
> vulnerabilities have existed for years but are just now getting 
> attention.    This is a problem that doesn't really need a bunch of 
> new legislation.   It's an education / resource issue.   The existing 
> methods that have been used for years with reasonable success in the 
> IT industry can 'fix' this problem.
>     Industrial Controls systems are normally only replaced when they
>     are so old that parts can no longer be obtained.   PC's started to
>     be widely used as operator interfaces about the time Windows 95
>     came out.   A lot of those Win95 boxes are still running and have
>     been connected to the network over the years.
>     And... if you can destroy a pump by turning it off and on too
>     often then somebody engineered the control and drive system
>     incorrectly.  Operators (and processes) do stupid things all the
>     time.  As the control systems engineer your supposed to deal with
>     that so that things don't go boom.
>     -- 
>     Mark Radabaugh
>     Amplex
>     mark at <mailto:mark at> 419.837.5015
>     <tel:419.837.5015>
>     ===============================================
> There are still industrial control machines out there running MS-DOS.
> As you said not replaced until you can't get parts anymore.
> Chuck
Oh yeah.... just not too many of those MS-DOS machines have TCP stacks :-)

I still get calls to work on machines I designed in 1999.   It's a real 
pain finding a computer that can run the programming software.   A lot 
of the software was written for 386 or slower machines and used timing 
loops to control the RS-232 ports.   Modern processors really screw that 
software up.

Mark Radabaugh

mark at  419.837.5015

More information about the NANOG mailing list