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IDG Contributor Network: How sound-fingerprinting could spot grid attackers

Discussion in 'Network World' started by RSS, Mar 2, 2016.

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    A kind of fingerprinting, using the unique noises that emanate from hybrid cyber-physical systems could be used to thwart large-infrastructure attacks that some experts think are a danger.

    Fake, malicious control commands injected into electrical grids and other large-scale hybrid physical and cyber installations could devastate systems. But existing control equipment sometimes can’t run encryption; is often remote, therefore hard to patch frequently; and can lack redundancy, so needs to be kept running. It can’t be shut down to be updated like regular networks.

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    Scientists think that one answer is to harness a major advantage of physical-cyber hybrid equipment—which is that the industrial control performs a physical action, such as turning a valve, or motor on. The action not only creates a unique sound, but also takes a specific amount of time to be performed. The theory is that by knowing what the characteristics should be, anomalies can get spotted—such as a spoofing.

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