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White Space 39: attacks on power and cooling

Heating, electric and plumbing system are wide open to attack from the Internet, says Ed Ansett

This week on White Space, we talk about the security of Industrial Control Systems – the systems that control your CRAC or PDUs. If these devices are connected to a network, attackers can reach them, and shut down a facility.

The problem is almost unknown, but could be widespread. These systems fall outside the remit of traditional IT teams, often use outdated communications protocols and default passwords. In the wider world, attacks on SCADA systems have been known, and the Stuxnet malware was created to hit a nuclear plant. 

Data center people seem to be operating under the assumption that it won’t happen in this sector, according to our special guest Ed Ansett, data center engineer and chairman of the i3 Solutions Group, who joins us, along with our very own George Rockett, the CEO of DatacenterDynamics.

Ed says organizations like US-CERT are trying to solve the issue it by spreading awareness, while some vendors are busy rewriting the problematic protocols.

Industrial control security will be discussed in detail at the upcoming DCD event in London in November, launched under a new name - the Zettastructure.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Doesn't every modern DCIM system network power & cooling control?

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  • Knowledgeable owners, operators, and engineers have recognized this vulnerability for years and have taken action to eliminate it.

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