9 November 2022
The Role of Engineers in the Inevitable Reincarnation of Cybersecurity
Joseph Weiss has recorded more than 11 million control-system cyber incidents, which have, he says, “collectively resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and more than $90 billion in direct damage.”
The Insecure Camera
In September 2022, the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) released a white paper titled “Safeguarding Devices — Not Just Data — From Cyberattacks” (link below). This 3,500-word paper provides a chilling insight into the complications currently faced by the cybersecurity industry. Why “chilling”? Because hackers are moving well beyond extortion and the sale of stolen data and are increasingly targeting takeovers of physical equipment for much more insidious purposes, such as causing massive power blackouts, poisoning water systems, or other forms of death, destruction, and general mayhem.
“For mechanical engineers, I would say this is a major opportunity to make a difference not only to your career, but to civilization itself.” — Joseph Weiss
All three of the Israeli attacks occurred via vulnerable cellular routers which allow an organization to remotely connect to its industrial systems. Following the attacks, the Israel Water Authority hired a cyber security firm to protect its water utilities from ICS and OT cyber-attacks on their machinery and equipment.
The Case of the Killer Coffee Pot
Trust Nobody, Trust Nothing
Hackers are moving well beyond extortion and the sale of stolen data and are increasingly targeting takeovers of physical equipment for much more insidious purposes.