They may look like ordinary computer programmers, but on this day, the role of mayhem-seeking hackers intent on industrial destruction is played by this group of security experts from the Idaho National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—aka: the red team.
The good guys, known as the blue team, are also INL staff—charged with simulating what an industrial plant employee would need to do in an emergency when defending against sudden cyber attacks on their systems.
Marty “Attackers are trying to overtake this system and override safety features, and if they maliciously attack it and get through, what we’ll see is that the tank, actually, could overflow.”
The battle begins, with each side unable to see what the other is doing to counter the others moves. That is, until…
Nat break, “Oh look at that, it’s moving… Oh…”
The cursor on the plant monitor begins moving, meaning the red team has broken through. Water begins overflowing this mini-model of an industrial holding tank to show what’s possible, in real life—a chemical disaster, or worse.
About 400 real plant employees go through INL trainings like this one each year, to try to beef up computer security at power plants, chemical refineries and factory floors.
With Robert McMillian, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.