Saturday, August 9, 2014

Are you looking for IEC 61850 TICS, PICS, PIXIT, … Documents?

I talked the other day to experts of a big user. We shared our experience of increased “information hiding” when it comes to the availability and accessibility of the various documents like PICS, PIXIT, TICS, … Product handbooks, manuals, … When you checked websites of major vendors some years ago, you could find a bunch of technical material … I have figured out that these documents are quite often hidden … or not anymore available online.

I found still good examples for downloading many of the these crucial documents:

Click HERE for a Website of ABB to find PICS and other documents

Click HERE for a Website of Alstom Grid to find PICS …

Click HERE for a Website of Schneider Electric to find PICS and other documents.

Click HERE for a Website of Siemens to find some 30 PIXIT documents.
Click HERE to see a list of some 40 references to IEC 61850 Ethernet Module EN100.

Congratulation to the IEC 61850 Teams!

Enjoy the documents. Are you looking for help to understand these documents? Why do we need these at all? Isn’t IEC 61850 a standard? … and then all these documents …

Click HERE to get help!

Sensitive, Critical Infrastructure is Not Sufficiently Protected

Recently it was reported that the Stadtwerke Ettlingen (Southwestern Germany – some 15 km from my hometown Karlsruhe), came very close to shutting down the power, water and gas supply of Ettlingen. “The experiment has shown that sensitive, critical infrastructure is not sufficiently protected,” said Eberhard Oehler, managing director of the utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen.

Click HERE for a brief Report in English and Here for one Report in German.

Just published FDIS IEC 62351-3 Communication network and system security – Profiles including TCP/IP

Security is discussed all over. IEC TC 57 has just published the following Final Draft International Standard:

FDIS IEC 62351-3 (57/1498/FDIS):
Power systems management and associated information exchange – Data and
communications security – Part 3: Communication network and system security – Profiles including TCP/IP

This part 3 was a Technical Specification. The just published FDIS will – once approved as standard cancel and replace IEC TS 62351-3:2007.

The voting on the FDIS closes 2014-10-10. Please check with your TC 57 national mirror committee to get a copy of the draft for comments.

The standard will cover the following:


A crucial definition of this standard will be to require “TLS v1.2 as defined in RFC 5246 (sometimes referred to as SSL v3.3) or higher shall be supported.”

Be smart and build-in security measures like the ones defined in the IEC 62351-3 Standard! You have to ask for it if you are a user – or you must implement it if you are a manufacturer of smart devices.

Monday, August 4, 2014

MMS & ASN.1 & XER & XMPP selected as the second SCSM of IEC 61850

The second SCSM for the ACSI Client-Server information exchange service models will be the mapping of the ACSI service models to MMS ASN.1 XER and XMPP. IEC TC 57 just released the 122 page document 57/1497/DC:

Draft IEC 61850-80-3 TR, Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 80-
3: Mapping to web protocols – Requirement analysis and technology assessment

The document mainly lists the crucial needs and why the mapping to “MMS ASN.1 XER and XMPP” has been chosen to be published as IEC 61850-8-2 soon.

Chapter 7 presents the future SCSM 8-2, including an overview of the main selected technology: XMPP.

The following goals have been particularly considered for the definition of this SCSM:

  • Identify a single profile supporting all the services required by the domains and defined today in ACSI.
  • Cover the full life cycle of a IEC 61850 system, in collaboration with the System Management work in WG10 (from configuration, through conformance testing, down to maintenance). For this purpose, the present document may recommend some changes in other parts of IEC 61850 like part 6, part 10, etc.
  • Deploy cyber-security to ensure a secure environment (in conjunction with IEC TC 57 WG 15 work).
  • Propose rules for cohabitation with other mappings such as IEC 61850-8-1 and IEC 61850-9-2, and possibly recommend communication profiles depending on specific application context (pole-top equipment, inside DER, connection of DER, …).

Check with your national IEC TC 57 mirror committee for a copy of the above mentioned document.

Congratulation for the tremendous success of the web service mapping team!!! Great work!

That means: IEC 61850 will be the preferred solution in substations and many applications outside!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New 3-day Public Seminar and Hands-On Training on IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5-104

NettedAutomation is entering into a new phase of training: Using real devices and solutions to work with during the public 3 days general training courses. The reorganized and extended program of the 3 days course is as follows:

1 1/2 days Introduction and Basics on IEC 61850 (and brief comparison with IEC 60870-5-104)
1/2 day Hands-on training on designing ICD and CID documents, analyzing SCD documents
1/2 day Configuring and using Server devices for monitoring and control using IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5-104
1/2 day Configuring and using Client devices for IEC 61850 and gateways to IEC 60870-5-104 and proxy server to IEC 61850; demonstration of IEC61850 Client to OPC UA Server

The next public courses are scheduled for:

Frankfurt (Germany), 15.-17. October 2014
Frankfurt (Germany), 06.-08. May 2015

Get a Special Price due to the 10th anniversary of the training courses offered by NettedAutomation ... after 3.600+ experts trained:

Click HERE for the new program and registration information.

List of courses conducted in 2013 (with 400+ attendees):


As you can see, the most courses are conducted as in-house events.

Ask for us for an offer for you and your people.

Do You Really Want to Use Your Phone for Remote Control?

Kim Zetter reported on 31 July that “Hackers Can Control Your Phone Using a
Tool That’s Already Built Into It”.

Would you like to be controlled by somebody else? Somebody you don’t know?

The report starts: “ … Two researchers have uncovered such built-in vulnerabilities in a large number of smartphones that would allow government spies and sophisticated hackers to install malicious code and take control of the device.”

Click HERE for the full report.

I hope that you are not planning to use smart phones in any critical infrastructure! Be smart! Any remote control in the energy automation could be very dangerous. Automation systems that highly depend on control commands from a central unit are in danger to be hacked or compromised by errors – independent of smart phones.

We have to thing towards more autonomous automation. Inputs to remote stations may be limited mainly to set-points that allow the algorithms in the remote units to check against the physical measurements and other information (situational awareness).