The DeepINTEL conference is a event focusing on Security Intelligence. Security intelligence is any information, which enables you to choose better strategies for defending your information infrastructure. Security intelligence is using several different approaches: algorithmic and statistical analysis, infiltration of adversaries, data correlation, meta analysis and related techniques.The DeepINTEL conference addresses the strategic aspects of security.

 

Our expert Mathias Dalheimer: Talk »The Power Grid is vulnerable – and it’s really hard to fix this«

The power grid is a critical infrastructure, and it is under attack: The recent black-outs in the Ukraine demonstrate that the power grid is not off-limits to attackers. The Ukraine attacks achieved a high impact but are rather simple IT-based attacks. The attackers did not utilize the underlying physics of the power grid: Utility companies designed their systems for operational safety and availability, but did not consider It security. The failure models are designed to alleviate the impact of single failures, but not the effects of a coordinated attack on different elements of the power grid.

The talk will introduce the physics of the power grid and failure modes. Today’s attacks on control systems incorporate only basic knowledge about the power grid. I will list the vulnerabilities of the power grid and show how physics can be used to amplify the impact of any attack. What’s more: Renewable power plants, IoT devices and electric vehicles provide additional attack vectors on the demand side of the power grid that are not under control of the power utilities – and therefore very hard to protect against attackers.