Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Animal "Attacks" on Power Systems - Worry About Squirrels

BBC news has published an interesting report on "Squirrel 'threat' to critical infrastructure".

According to the report "The real threat to global critical infrastructure is not enemy states or organisations but squirrels, according to one security expert.
Cris Thomas has been tracking power cuts caused by animals since 2013.
Squirrels, birds, rats and snakes have been responsible for more than 1,700 power cuts affecting nearly 5 million people, he told a security conference."

Click HERE to read the report.

Are You Looking for Authenticated Encrypted Time Signals?

GPS-based time signals could be less robust and reliable - this has been discussed in various forums. Electric power systems rely on time synchronization you can trust.

In a new US DOE project (TASQC - Timing Authentication Secured by Quantum Correlations) experts are planning to develop authenticated encrypted time signals that mitigate known vulnerabilities in GPS-based time. The project aims to:
  • Develop and demonstrate a secure time distribution system using quantum-correlated signals over geographically wide area;
  • Develop and demonstrate protocols for time-stamp authentication for data reported from power systems;
  • Expand capability of the developed infrastructure for secure authentication of broadcast messages;
  • Evaluate the system for cyber- and physical-vulnerabilities;
  • Partner with industry to develop timing requirements for power systems and to refine design of system and protocols.
Phil Evans, Ph.D., TASQC Principle Investigator, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, respectfully requests your assistance for the TASQC project by both answering the questions in a brief survey, and distributing it amongst your colleagues in the electric power industry.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

IEC TC 57 Published Several New IEC 61850 Documents

IEC TC 57 has published several new documents of the standard series IEC 61850 (Communication networks and systems for power utility automation):

IEC 61850-2: Glossary [57 pages]
Comments are required by 2017-04-07

IEC 61850-80-5: Guideline for mapping information between IEC 61850 and IEC 61158-6 (Modbus) [45 pages]
Comments are required by 2017-04-07

IEC 61850-7-2 A1 Ed.2: Abstract communication service interface (ACSI)
The CDV has been accepted.