Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cybertage, large scale

Aviation Week has a couple of dramatic pictures. The first shows the new power room of the Shushenskaya hydro electric plant. Huge, slightly curved room, big windows, spotless concrete floor with eight turbines neatly set out.
Second photo shows the same room after the accident, the place is wrecked, concrete floor torn apart, turbines and generators ripped apart and hurled into corners.
How did this happen? A plant employee used a network to remotely and accidentally activate an unused turbine with a few errant keystrokes. This created a water hammer that flooded and then destroyed the plant and killed dozens of workers. This happened back in 2009 in Siberia.
The obvious conclusion is that cyber hackers could make the same thing happen deliberately.
Which is why control of electric power generators should NEVER be done over the public internet, and should NEVER rely upon Windows computers.

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