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Cybersecurity - 'State Trojans' ?

Let me see, you are assuming the distribution grid is not functioning, but you still want to start up those generating plants to do what exactly?

You also need to add load in a coordinated fashion, or you aren't going to be able to ramp up those plants anyway. The reason they shut down in the first place would likely have been due to loss of load. It's like stepping on the accelerator in a car when you don't have the clutch engaged. The generators would over-rev and have to shut down to protect themselves.

A major cause of delay in restarting service is that with thermal plants that tripped unexpectedly instead of going through a controlled shutdown the turbine (and possibly other systems) would have to go through a cool down and restart cycle before it can be restarted without damage. That can take several days. This is why a major blackout can last for a week or so before everything is back on line.

So assuming the entire grid tripped, the start up sequence would go a) start up the plants that have black start capability, b) ramp them up while adding load in a controlled manner, c) use the power from them to start up other plants, d) add more load incrementally, e) ramp up the power and load together in a coordinated fashion until everything is back to normal capacity. It's not like turning the key on a car, it takes time.

I think you've perhaps missed my point, which is not really about power plants at all.

My point is that protection of CNI is a key priority, and "all" a hostile agency has to do to mount a major attack on a foreign nation is take control of their power grid. I don't want to ramp up any plants, I don't want to thinking about sequencing load and all those good things. Those are just consequential problems and aggravating factors in the attack.

All I wanted was to point out that if a hostile agency seized control of the grid, they could seriously disrupt an entire country for an extended period of time, precisely because of the reasons you quote. Hence considerable effort is expended trying to defend against attack.
 
These powers were specifically covered in UK legislation as "Equipment Interference".

The full Codes of Practice are set out -

Investigatory Powers Act 2016 – codes of practice

Trojans are merely the tool by which this power could be lawfully exercised.

Frankly, I would have suspect much better things have been cooked up in Q's Lab.

The tool list was commented on back in 2014

GCHQ Catalog of Exploit Tools - Schneier on Security

My favourite code name was "SWAMP DONKEY".... if I can get some code going I plan to launch an exploit called "HIPPIBOTACROCAMOOSE"

CONCRETE DONKEY they've blatently stolen that name from the computer game Worms, that was Andy Davidson's idea
 
I think you've perhaps missed my point, which is not really about power plants at all.

My point is that protection of CNI is a key priority, and "all" a hostile agency has to do to mount a major attack on a foreign nation is take control of their power grid. I don't want to ramp up any plants, I don't want to thinking about sequencing load and all those good things. Those are just consequential problems and aggravating factors in the attack.

All I wanted was to point out that if a hostile agency seized control of the grid, they could seriously disrupt an entire country for an extended period of time, precisely because of the reasons you quote. Hence considerable effort is expended trying to defend against attack.
It appears that we are ultimately in agreement. This thread of conversation started with your statement that not all generating plants had black start capability. I was simply pointing out that if a malicious person had control of the grid, that didn't matter as he could keep the plants from getting back on line anyway. As you have stated above, control of the grid means control over everything connected to it.

The best strategy for a malicious person might in fact be to allow generating plants to get back on line and then trip them through loss of load again, as this offers the potential to create mechanical and electrical damage.

The government of Venezuela have claimed that the US are currently doing this to them in an effort to reduce support for Maduro and contribute to his overthrow. I won't comment on whether or not that may actually be taking place, but this is exactly the most likely sort of scenario under which an attack on a grid might be employed.

The recent Norsk Hydro incident is another example, although in this case it appears to be motivated by a straightforward attempt at criminal extortion.

I would suggest that the only thing that is going to produce any sort of improvement is to hold the boards of directors of all utilities and major industries personally accountable for ensuring that the businesses under their direction take adequate measures, including providing adequate budgets (as opposed to the usual PR platitudes) to see that it happens.
 
My favourite code name was "SWAMP DONKEY".... if I can get some code going I plan to launch an exploit called "HIPPIBOTACROCAMOOSE"
AKA 'Diane' for short.
 

anglo

LE
It appears that we are ultimately in agreement. This thread of conversation started with your statement that not all generating plants had black start capability. I was simply pointing out that if a malicious person had control of the grid, that didn't matter as he could keep the plants from getting back on line anyway. As you have stated above, control of the grid means control over everything connected to it.

The best strategy for a malicious person might in fact be to allow generating plants to get back on line and then trip them through loss of load again, as this offers the potential to create mechanical and electrical damage.

The government of Venezuela have claimed that the US are currently doing this to them in an effort to reduce support for Maduro and contribute to his overthrow. I won't comment on whether or not that may actually be taking place, but this is exactly the most likely sort of scenario under which an attack on a grid might be employed.

The recent Norsk Hydro incident is another example, although in this case it appears to be motivated by a straightforward attempt at criminal extortion.

I would suggest that the only thing that is going to produce any sort of improvement is to hold the boards of directors of all utilities and major industries personally accountable for ensuring that the businesses under their direction take adequate measures, including providing adequate budgets (as opposed to the usual PR platitudes) to see that it happens.

The answer to stop a disruption of the power grid is simple, take the power grid off the internet,
the only reason the grid uses the internet is to save money on cabling
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
...and although allied this is slightly off the thread topic - but worth a swift scan:

The New German Question

THE GATHERING STORM
If one were devising a formula to drive Europe and Germany back to some new version of their past, one could hardly do a better job than what U.S. President Donald Trump is doing now. Overtly hostile to the EU, the Trump administration is encouraging the renationalization of Europe, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did in Brussels at the end of 2018, when he gave a speech touting the virtues of the nation-state. In the European struggle that has pitted liberals against illiberals and internationalists against nationalists, the Trump administration has placed its thumb on the scales in favor of the two latter groups. It has criticized the leaders of the European center-right and center-left, from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to French President Emmanuel Macron to British Prime Minister Theresa May, while embracing the leaders of the populist illiberal right, from Viktor Orban in Hungary to Marine Le Pen in France to Matteo Salvini in Italy to Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland. It was in Germany, of all places, where the U.S. ambassador, Richard Grenell, expressed in an interview the desire to “empower” Europe’s “conservatives,” by which he did not mean the traditional German right-of-center party of Merkel.

Besides encouraging right-wing nationalism and the dissolution of pan-European institutions, the Trump administration has turned against the global free-trade regime that undergirds European and German political stability. The president himself has specifically targeted Germany, complaining of its large trade surplus and threatening a tariff war against German automobiles in addition to the tariffs already imposed on European steel and aluminum. Imagine what the effects of even greater pressure and confrontation might be: a downturn in the German economy and, with it, the return of resentful nationalism and political instability. Now imagine that Greece, Italy, and other weak European economies were teetering and in need of further German bailouts that might not be forthcoming. The result would be the reemergence of the economic nationalism and bitter divisions of the past. Add to this the growing doubts about the U.S. security guarantee that Trump has deliberately fanned, along with his demands for increased defense spending in Germany and the rest of Europe. American policy seems bent on creating the perfect European storm.
 
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