In the News – This Week in Critical Infrastructure: Week of June 12, 2017

Posted: June 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

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This Week in Critical Infrastructure we look at a wide variety of articles covering cybersecurity and infrastructure investment, including the latest news on Crash Override, the malware that has been identified in connection with the Ukraine electric grid attacks from 2015 and 2016. We also encourage all of our readers in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area to check out Resilient Virginia and their 2017 conference by clicking the link at the bottom of the post.


‘Crash Override’: The Malware That Took Down a Power Grid

Andy Greenberg writes for Wired on the discover of “Crash Override,” the malware that was behind the attacks against Ukraine’s power grid in 2015 and 2016. Security firms ESET and Dragos Inc. have released a detailed report (available here) that outlines the processes at work in the software. Based on their findings, Dragos described the Ukraine attacks as a preliminary test run, raising the possibility that wider deployment may be intended in the future.

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Betting Big On Infrastructure

From Forbes, contributor Harold Sirkin provides an argument that investors will be attracted to the long-term benefits of infrastructure investment opportunities, and not only through direct revenue generation via tolls.

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Building Better Physical Security at the Edge

Ron Catanzaro of Security Info Watch writes on the need for physical security to prevent data loss, especially at edge IT deployments designed to bring computing resources closer to end users.

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Cyber Defense for Physical Security

Also from Security Info Watch, John Distelzweig discusses the double-edged sword of using networked devices for physical security. Assets like surveillance systems provide valuable security but also present new attack vectors for hackers, thus requiring addition cybersecurity consideration themselves.

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The Simple Fix That’d Help Protect Georgia from Election Hacks

Lily Hay Newman of Wired takes a look at election systems in Georgia in the run-up to next week’s special election for the state’s Sixth Congressional District. Newman examines criticism of the state’s process, especially the lack of a verifiable paper trail for voting that would make tampering easier to detect.

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Army Plans to Field New System to Keep Communications Open during Disaster

For the Army Times, Ashley Bunch reports on the new Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal (DIRECT), a system that will allow local authorities to maintain communications for first responders if infrastructure is disrupted. The new system is set to be deployed to National Guard units in all U.S. states and territories where the National Guard operates.

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Complexity of Developing a Cyber Defense Strategy [Commentary]

In this comment for Fifth Domain, Kevin Coleman outlines some of the many factors that contribute to the complexity of creating a coherent long-term cyber defense strategy that accounts for growth and change in the U.S. cyber ecosystem.

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2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

Coming August 1 & 2, the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference will be hosted in Richmond, Virginia, and will explore the theme of Connecting Communities, Business, and Educators for Resilience Solutions. The conference aims to provide communities and businesses with tools to enhance resilience to disasters and other disruptions as part of Virginia’s broader resiliency planning goals.

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Write to the Editors at ciprpt@gmu.edu