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DHS official says attacks on industrial control systems are increasing

03 May 2012

The US government has seen a recent increase in attacks against industrial control systems that operate critical infrastructure, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official warned.

Mark Weatherford, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, said that the agency is seeing a “troubling increase in the threats and the vulnerabilities” associated with industrial control systems, according to a report by Nextgov.

The industrial control systems for many critical infrastructure facilities were installed between 30 and 50 years ago, and security flaws are introduced when digital enhancements are layered on top, Weatherford said. “But we are making progress on that, I think”, he added.

Weatherford was speaking last week at the University of Rhode Island (URI), which was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Education by DHS and the National Security Agency.

“This award highlights the university’s expertise and influence in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity education”, said URI President David M. Dooley. “Cybersecurity is one of the most critical issues facing us today and researchers here are leading the way.”

URI’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center (DFCSC) is a multidisciplinary hub that harnesses the resources of the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as the Office of Information Technology.

Established in 2004 with a grant from the National Science Foundation, DFCSC provides courses and degree programs, research, services, and consulting in digital forensics, information assurance, and cybersecurity.


This article is featured in:
Internet and Network Security  •  IT Forensics  •  Public Sector  •  Security Training and Education


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