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As protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attacks has become vital and a major mission in a world where cyber attacks have been targeting more and more electric grids, water, and energy systems, this new technology can block cyberattacks from impacting the electric power grids.
Researchers from Idaho National Laboratory and Visgence have demonstrated the capabilities of their Constrained Cyber Communication Device (C3D) against a series of remote access attempts indicative of a cyberattack. The device alerted operators to the abnormal commands and blocked them automatically, preventing the attacks from accessing and damaging critical power grid components.
The C3D device uses advanced communication capabilities to autonomously review and filter commands being sent to protective relay devices. Relays are the heart and soul of the power grid and are designed to rapidly command breakers to turn off the flow of electricity when a disturbance is detected. “As cyberattacks against the nation’s critical infrastructure have grown more sophisticated, there is a need for a device to provide a last line of defense against threats,” said INL program manager Jake Gentle. “The C3D device sits deep inside a utility’s network, monitoring and blocking cyberattacks before they impact relay operations.”
According to homelandsecuritynewswire.com, with the entire system online, researchers sent a sudden power spike command to the substation relays and monitored the effects from a nearby command center. Instantly, the C3D device blocked the command and prevented the attack from damaging the larger grid.
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