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DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the someone-inverted-the-black-lines dept.

United States 50

wiredmikey (1824622) writes The Operation Aurora attack was publicized in 2010 and impacted Google and a number of other high-profile companies. However, DHS responded to the request by releasing more than 800 pages of documents related to the 'Aurora' experiment conducted several years ago at the Idaho National Laboratory, where researchers demonstrated a way to damage a generator via a cyber-attack. Of the documents released by the DHS, none were related to the Operation Aurora cyber attack as requested. Many of the 840 pages are comprised of old weekly reports from the DHS' Control System Security Program (CSSP) from 2007. Other pages that were released included information about possible examples of facilities that could be vulnerable to attack, such as water plants and gas pipelines.

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Why I vote Democrat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415321)

Why I vote Democrat

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single month.

I vote Democrat because I care about the children but saddling them with trillions of dollars of debt to pay for my bloated leftist government is okay.

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s better to pay billions of dollars to people who hate us rather than drill for our own oil, because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.

I vote Democrat because I believe it is okay if liberal activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

I vote Democrat because I believe that corporate America should not be allowed to make profits for themselves or their shareholders. They need to break even and give the rest to the federal government for redistribution.

I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted, so long as we keep all of the murderers on death row alive.

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if my Nobel Peace Prize winning President uses drones to assassinate people, as long as we don’t use torture.

I vote Democrat because I believe people, who can’t accurately tell us if it will rain on Friday, can predict the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Chevy Volt.

I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is not as important as preventing people from being offended.

I vote Democrat because I believe the oil companies’ profit of 3% on a gallon of gas is obscene, but the federal government taxing that same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t obscene.

I vote Democrat because I believe a moment of silent prayer at the beginning of the school day constitutes government indoctrination and an intrusion on parental authority .. but sex education, condom distribution and multiculturalism are all values-neutral.

I vote Democrat because I agonize over threats to the natural environment from CO2, acid rain and toxic waste .. but I am totally oblivious of the threats to our social environment from pornography, promiscuity and family dissolution.

I vote Democrat because I believe lazy, uneducated stoners should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

I vote Democrat because I don’t like guns .. so no one else should be allowed to own one.

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between welfare and the rise of illegitimacy.

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between judicial leniency and surging crime rates.

I vote Democrat because I believe you don’t need an ID to vote but you do to buy beer.

I vote Democrat because I believe marriage is obsolete, except for homosexuals.

I vote Democrat because I think AIDS is spread by insufficient funding.

I vote Democrat because I think “fairness” is far more important than freedom.

I vote Democrat because I think an “equal outcome” is far more important than equal opportunity.

I vote democrat because I would rather hide in a class room while others fight for my freedom.

I vote democrat because I’m not smart enough to own a gun and I need someone else to protect me.

I vote democrat because I would rather have free stuff than freedom.

And lastly, I vote Democrat because I’m convinced that government programs are the solution to the human condition, NOT freedom.

Re:Why I vote Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415939)

I'd say about half of these are actually spot on. It would be funny to see one for Republicans and Libertarians too.

Why I vote Republican (-1, Flamebait)

Comboman (895500) | about 4 months ago | (#47416997)

Why I vote Republican

I vote Republican because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single month...as long as it's spent by the Department of Defense.

I vote Republican because I claim to care about the children but don't want any money spent on education or healthcare.

I vote Republican because I believe it is okay if conservative activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

I vote Republican because I believe that corporate America should be allowed to make profits for themselves, by outsourcing American jobs, busting unions, destroying the environment and lobbying corrupt politicians.

I vote Republican because I’m concerned about millions of babies being aborted, but don't care what happens after they're born.

I vote Republican because I don't know the difference between weather and climate.

I vote Republican because The Right To Bear Arms is not as important as preventing people from being murdered.

I vote Republican because I believe lazy, uneducated rednecks should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between corporate welfare and the rise of income inequality.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between lenient gun laws and surging crime rates.

I vote Republican because I believe you don’t need an ID buy a gun, but do to vote.

I vote Republican because I think AIDS is prevented by keeping children ignorant about safe sex.

I vote Republican because I think “freedom” is far more important than fairness.

I vote Republican because I think an “equal opportunity” means anyone can apply for a job but only white males will get one.

I vote Republican because I would rather hide in a boardroom while others fight for my freedom.

I vote Republican because I’m not smart enough to own a gun but think I should be allowed to anyway.

And lastly, I vote Republican because I’m convinced that government is the source of all our problems... and prove it every time we're in office.

Re:Why I vote Republican (1)

adndgamer (1642545) | about 4 months ago | (#47422075)

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between lenient gun laws and surging crime rates

I'm with you on a lot of this stuff, except for this one which is blatantly false.

"Crime rates have varied over time, with a sharp rise after World War II, before peaking between the 1970s and early 1990s. Since the early 1990s, crime has declined in the United States, and current crime rates are approximately the same as those of the 1960s." (citations in article)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why I vote Republican (1)

Comboman (895500) | about 4 months ago | (#47423299)

Yes, I was trying to echo the wording of the "Why I Vote Democrat" post as closely as possible (which is also incorrect of course). A more accurate statement would be "surging mass shooting rates".

Re:Why I vote Democrat (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 4 months ago | (#47416027)

I don't know what human condition you suffer from, but I venture one of its symptoms is typarria.

Re:Why I vote Democrat (1)

coldfarnorth (799174) | about 4 months ago | (#47416403)

I vote democrat to (among other reasons) piss people like you off.

Re:Why I vote Democrat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47418361)

I vote democrat because I'm a fucking idiot facist.

Re:Why I vote Democrat (3, Insightful)

coldfarnorth (799174) | about 4 months ago | (#47417271)

Now that I've got my flip answer out of the way, it's probably best that I don't leave your little talking points unaddressed.
(UPDATE: Comboman's response is probably wittier and more concise - someone send 'em a gold star please. But I went to the trouble to type all this, so I'm going to post it anyways. It's the internet way.)

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single month.

Yup. Years of neglect have left our infrastructure in a sorry state, inherited wars cost money(!), and let's not even talk about the shitpile that was the economy. When Bush II handed over the reins. (A resounding win for Financial deregulation, wouldn't you say?)

I vote Democrat because I care about the children but saddling them with trillions of dollars of debt to pay for my bloated leftist government is okay.

This is really the same as the last one, but hey, it's still better than inventing evidence and starting a war that result in the deaths of ~4,500 of our kids, and maiming or otherwise injuring ~32,000 more (and totally ignoring the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens as a result of said war).

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s better to pay billions of dollars to people who hate us rather than drill for our own oil, because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.

Last I checked, we'd rather reduce our dependence on oil altogether (By jump-starting the wind and solar industries in the US), but big oil and coal has been lobbying like there's no tomorrow to prevent that.

I vote Democrat because I believe it is okay if liberal activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

No worries, the conservatives engage in plenty of this too, especially in cases involving the 2nd ammendment and abortion rights (Hobby lobby decision was decided by 5 men who were conservative Catholics).

I vote Democrat because I believe that corporate America should not be allowed to make profits for themselves or their shareholders. They need to break even and give the rest to the federal government for redistribution.

Dude, you are crazy. No company should be able to avoid paying taxes through financial sleight of hand, but really, you think GE is paying too much tax for the benefits of being an american corporation? Apple?

I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted, so long as we keep all of the murderers on death row alive.

As opposed to that other party, who preaches the sanctity of life, but is giddy to kill inmates.

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if my Nobel Peace Prize winning President uses drones to assassinate people, as long as we don’t use torture.

Guess what? Most humans don't think that anyone should either engage in torture, or send drones to kill other humans. Shocking! One of two is a reasonable start, and we're working on the other one. At least we don't have Bush/Cheny in charge any more, they were fine with both.

I vote Democrat because I believe people, who can’t accurately tell us if it will rain on Friday, can predict the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Chevy Volt.

You do know the difference between climatology and meteorology, right? It's like the difference between socialism and communism (or patriotism and fascism, if you swing that way.) The later is a tiny subset of the former.

I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is not as important as preventing people from being offended.

Aw, here you're just trying to stir things up. I'm pretty sure the courts have a well-used system in place for determining what is protected speech (however offensive), and what is not. Most judges aren't elected, last I checked.

I vote Democrat because I believe the oil companies’ profit of 3% on a gallon of gas is obscene, but the federal government taxing that same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t obscene.

Hmm, the federal gas tax has been 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. Gas is about $3.80 per gallon where I currently am, which the tax at just under 5%. Oil company profits vary, but that "free market" thing keeps them down to a reasonable level - the government doesn't limit profit, unless you collude with others to circumvent that "free market" thing.

I vote Democrat because I believe a moment of silent prayer at the beginning of the school day constitutes government indoctrination and an intrusion on parental authority .. but sex education, condom distribution and multiculturalism are all values-neutral.

Last I checked, the US government never required a prayer at the beginning of every school day. Also, if your parents are too gutless to tell you how your body works/reproduces, someone should do it before your hormones lead you into a situation that may dramatically change your life plans.

I vote Democrat because I agonize over threats to the natural environment from CO2, acid rain and toxic waste .. but I am totally oblivious of the threats to our social environment from pornography, promiscuity and family dissolution.

Hmm. Last I checked, democrats wanted to be cautious with respect to the environment (we've only got one), and pornography is acceptible for adults, promisciity is a personal freedom question, and family dissolution is unfortunate (We try to offer helpful services, but then the conservatives accuse us of wasting money. (is it just me, or are they playing both ends of that game?))

I vote Democrat because I believe lazy, uneducated stoners should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

Yep. One vote per person. You have another system you'd like to propose?

I vote Democrat because I don’t like guns .. so no one else should be allowed to own one.

We have no problem with people responsibly owning guns for accepted purposes (hunting, sport, etc). We do have a problem with owning guns that are designed to kill people as quickly as possible (For reference, RPGs are "arms" too, but no one is arguing that people should be able to get those without a background check.)

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between welfare and the rise of illegitimacy.

You may be confusing correlation and causation. Care to clarify?

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between judicial leniency and surging crime rates.

The alternative is paying for long incarcerations of minor offences, Mr. Big Govt

I vote Democrat because I believe you don’t need an ID to vote but you do to buy beer.

Yeah, needing an ID to buy beer is pretty stupid.

I vote Democrat because I believe marriage is obsolete, except for homosexuals.

Well, on one hand, I don't think the government should be limiting interpersonal contracts to definitions developed by the clergy, and on the other hand, we should be fair; I can't justifiably recognize one religion's definition and ignore anothers.

I vote Democrat because I think AIDS is spread by insufficient funding.

Nah, we all know that it's dirty dicks and needles. But condoms, meds, needle exchanges, and education sure slow things down.

I vote Democrat because I think “fairness” is far more important than freedom.

I rarely see these in conflict, except when someone says he deserves the freedom to treat someone unfairly.

I vote Democrat because I think an “equal outcome” is far more important than equal opportunity.

You mixed that up a bit, we want equal opportunity, even for those who have some disadvantages (like poverty or race). As for equal outcomes, I think the old saw applies: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

I vote democrat because I would rather hide in a class room while others fight for my freedom.

WTF? Bush II had a cushy post in the Texas Air National Guard while Kerry's PT boat was being shot at.

I vote democrat because I’m not smart enough to own a gun and I need someone else to protect me.

What can I say, except whoever came up with the idea for the Dept. of homeland security was a jackass and a moron.

I vote democrat because I would rather have free stuff than freedom.

Would you belive that I didn't know this was an issue?

And lastly, I vote Democrat because I’m convinced that government programs are the solution to the human condition, NOT freedom.

You are, of course, free to move to Somalia, where there are no government programs to interfere with your freedoms. I'll even contribute towards your plane ticket.

Also, I'm totally shocked that you didn't mention immigration. Please let me know what democrats want here, and I'll be happy to swing right back at'cha.

Yeah, right (2)

slapout (93640) | about 4 months ago | (#47415381)

"Mistakenly" Sure...

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415419)

everyone should know a honey pot when they see one....

... and slashdot is playing along ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415711)

A honeypot by itself won't be attracting any bee

An advertised honeypot, on the other hand ...
 
  and the involvement of /. says a lot !

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415963)

They are just begging a terrorist to do something, so they can justify their existence.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

houghi (78078) | about 4 months ago | (#47417565)

This should have been Edward Snowdens defence: "Oops!"

These don't seem "critical" (5, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47415421)

From what the article shows, it seems like a lot of this information is public knowledge - where substations and water plants are and how they operate. Pretty much everyone in my town knows where the local substations are, and it doesn't take a genius to know that an attack that disables or destroys a substation would have a massive impact on the people living there. None of these documents appear to be classified, which means they don't contain anything that DHS was afraid of the general public knowing.

It would be a different story if these were classified documents containing things like the floor plans for nuclear plants and gaps in security at said plants that could actually be useful in an attack, but this seems like a non-story other than that DHS's FOIA officer got lazy and just CTRL+F'd for "Aurora" and blindly copied anything with that word in the name.

Re:These don't seem "critical" (4, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47415589)

Yes, I think the article would more aptly be entitled, "DHS Releases Documents that Weren't Requested".

Re:These don't seem "critical" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415683)

To be fair, that in itself is news too.

Re: These don't seem "critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415995)

They just confused aurora with the 2007 one http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/26/power.at.risk/

Re:These don't seem "critical" (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 months ago | (#47417431)

The documents aren't critical. The infrastructure it refers to is.

Re:These don't seem "critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47417471)

There is much that is NOT public knowledge.

For example, which breaker does that medium voltage motor connect to? What point index numbers must I use to command that breaker? How many milliseconds on and milliseconds off must I send the command to end up 120 degrees out of phase? What kind of out of phase protection relay is in service?

Utilities are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they have to document where the money is being spent. There is no way to hide a large spinning asset. On the other hand, they should not publish a roadmap on how to break stuff. These large assets can be destroyed with a few carefully constructed commands.

That said, there are extremely few people with sufficient intimate knowledge and a combination of experience and skill in both embedded systems, protocols, and IT, as well as industrial engineering, control systems, and SCADA who can leverage such information to actually damage something. The other mitigating factor is that unless you're a foreign terrorist or nation state, there is very little motivation to destroy utility assets. There certainly isn't much money in it.

That's why, although I wouldn't actually sleep soundly, the release of this information is not an immediate disaster.

Re:These don't seem "critical" (1)

muridae (966931) | about 4 months ago | (#47423429)

There is much that is NOT public knowledge.

For example*snip* How many milliseconds on and milliseconds off must I send the command to end up 120 degrees out of phase? What kind of out of phase protection relay is in service?

360 degrees of phase every 1/60th of a second. 120 degrees is 1/3rd that, so minimum of 1/3 of 1/60 or 1/90th of a second....that would be common knowledge to anyone in the USA who hears 60 cycle hums on electrical lines or as line noise. Whether that would be how long the breaker would need to be off to get the generator that far out of phase, I don't know. But I really want to dig through this paper and see if the person I know who does know how long it takes, and warned the DOE and DHS about it, is mentioned by name.

Re:These don't seem "critical" (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 4 months ago | (#47417705)

Pretty much everyone in my town knows where the local substations are

maybe remove these from maps both printed and Google? Yes it's ridiculous but I'm sure these ideas are kicking around. I read someplace that shortly after 9-11, some cities removed addresses of fire department stations because they felt if terrorists knew where these are they can disrupt first responders.

Re:These don't seem "critical" (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47419309)

You are correct, it does sound ridiculous. However, a lot of things sound that way in today's world.

Maybe the FBI and NSA couldn't use the monitoring they are doing on Americans to find people looking for this stuff in some attempt to find a terrorist cell so they released them to narrow down their search (either by looking closer at those who download it or those who don't but searched for it previously).

As for first responders, You can always know where first responders are by creating an accident that requires them. After about 10 minutes, attack with stage two. Car bombings in Iraq and other hot spots tend to use this. They send a bomb in close to an area, send another in to blow up, 10-20 minutes later, first responders are on scene trying to save lives and the second bomb goes off,.

Does anyone get the impression.. (2)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 4 months ago | (#47415431)

that nothing can be kept secret anymore? Whatever you want not to be exposed, whether diplomatic communications or technical documents or "intellectual property", will eventually reach the internet either by whistle-blowing or human error? And once it reaches the internet, if anyone cares about it then it will be perpetuated forever?

There are advantages to such a situation, of course, but also disadvantages.

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 months ago | (#47415469)

that nothing can be kept secret anymore?

It's hard to say, because in general we don't know about the things that have remained secret. We know the numerator, but not the denominator.

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (2)

Creepy (93888) | about 4 months ago | (#47415717)

There is no such thing as whistle blowing in the US, since the US classifies giving classified information to "someone that is not supposed to have it" as treason under the Espionage Act of 1917.

And it isn't just whistle blowing - the White House recently committed treason by exposing the CIA operative in Afghanistan, for instance (and then said "whoops"). Note that the White House decided not to prosecute itself, just as it chose not to prosecute Dick Cheney and Richard Armitage for the same crime (in Plamegate).

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 4 months ago | (#47416355)

No, I don't. I get the impression that these documents were freely available, unclassified, public information. Or was DHS really trying to keep the location of that big-ass power substation down the street from me a secret?

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47417815)

There is some additional information available in the documents that is not readily available to the public (such as total substation capacity or redundancy); however a member of the public with a reasonable background in electrical engineering could probably make a good guess by looking at photographs or estimating measurements. The difference is basically what is easily accessible to the public vs. what would require the analysis of trained professionals.

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47416685)

This principle used to be called "information wants to be free", but then, people with poor language skills started shouting that information can't want anything.

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#47418579)

'Information wants to be free' is just a badly constructed wannabe-meme similar in quality to Apple's 'Think Different' slogan. Basically, it's the kind of drivel marketing types who dropped too much acid in college come up with.

Why would anybody claim that the people who point this out have 'bad language skills'?

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47419825)

Because "fortune favors the bold" or "justice is blind" belong to the same category, and nobody objects against those? And I don't think the ancient peoples were dropping acid in college.

Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (2)

ewieling (90662) | about 4 months ago | (#47416899)

My hope is the "do-baders" spend so much time keeping things secret they have difficulty "doing bad".

TREASON! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415509)

HANG THEM!

DHS better flee to Russia while they still can.. (4, Funny)

PortHaven (242123) | about 4 months ago | (#47415605)

Er...ya...or something.

Re:DHS better flee to Russia while they still can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47416055)

...in a perfect world.

Hypocrites.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415649)

Do it in the name of whistleblowing, and your treasonous. Do it 'mistakenly', and it's 'OK'. Just an 'oopsie'. What's the fine, or charge, for 'accidentally' enabling the terrorists again? That's right. Nothing!

Can I get a new Government? Possibly one where incompetence is a disqualification for anything having to do with infrastructure, security, or Civil Liberties?

Re:Hypocrites.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47416039)

Can I get a new Government? Possibly one where incompetence is a disqualification for anything having to do with infrastructure, security, or Civil Liberties?

I've seen your country. Pretty soon there would be nobody left to do any of those.

this is all by design (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 4 months ago | (#47415917)

You see, those dept.'s want even more of your money, and what with terrorists keeping quiet these days and the extremists
being ID''ed by whether or not they read Linux Journal, the DHS, TSA, NSA and any other acronym that's got the coveted 'S',
are starting to look pathetic.
Can't have that!

This is just naming confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47415979)

The requestor obviously was looking for information on the "operation aurora" hacking that occurred in 2010. DHS confused this with the "aurora" vulnerability from 2007 which sought to prove that an ICS attack could break a generator. I think that is all and the 2007 aurora info is long public.

Re:This is just naming confusion (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47416267)

Isn't there supposed to be some gov't office or book of code names to ensure that secret project names are not re-used? Someone looks up 'Aurora' and sees that this was declassified years ago. So they upload it to the public site. Whoops.

I'm doing a study on architecture in New York City. I think I'll call it the Manhattan Project.

The Department of Hardons for Stasism, WOOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47416037)

Gee, shock surprise that the Department of Hardons for Stasiism fucks up like this.
What does any one expect from a newly formed "law" enforcement that supercedes
all other "law" enforcement of the land? It's bound to be full of fuckups and n00bs
who don't know what the fuck they are doing. And this just proves this...

Oops I did it again ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 4 months ago | (#47416075)

Recall the inadvertent Gmail [slashdot.org] slip, and the doctor SSN [slashdot.org] fail ...

Buy then books and send them to school and they bite the teacher.

4 year old vulnerabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47416113)

This documentation relates to vulnerabilities which were presumably identified about 4 years ago, if they haven't already been fixed they SHOULD be advertised to shame those responsible into fixing them. Its disturbing how often society/government cringes at the "unauthorized" release of information instead of the lack of action & accountability that they so often show.

IRS (4, Funny)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47416771)

Were the missing IRS emails in there?

Re:IRS (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 4 months ago | (#47417283)

The IRS isn't a critical infrastructure so that seems unlikely. The recently lost ones were on a hard drive that died so it's even more unlikely the DHS stole a copy.

Mistake? Suure... (3, Insightful)

WegianWarrior (649800) | about 4 months ago | (#47417085)

Step one: Release a bunch of 'critical' documents by 'mistake'.

Step two: Twiddle thumbs while terrorists / criminals abuse information released in step one.

Step three: Point to attack in caused by step two, argue that DHS should be exempt from FOI Request because 'national security'.

Step four: DHS can do anything they like without the public oversight.

Mysterious "Aurora" attack not so mysterious. (1)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#47417787)

There's nothing mysterious about this. The problem is that if someone gets control of circuit breakers for large rotating equipment, they may be able to disconnect it, let it get out of sync, and reconnect it. This causes huge stresses on motor and generator windings and may damage larger equipment. This is a classic problem in AC electrical systems. [ieee.org] A more technical analysis of the Aurora vulnerability is here. [selinc.com]

The attack involves taking over control of a power breaker in the transmission system, one that isn't protected by a device that checks for an in-phase condition. Breakers that are intended to be used during synchronization (such as the ones nearest generators) have such protections, but not all breakers do.

Protective relaying in power systems is complicated, because big transient events occur now and then. A lightning strike is a normal event in transmission systems. The system can tolerate many disruptive events, and you don't want to shut everything down and go to full blackout because the fault detection is overly sensitive. A big inductive load joining the grid looks much like an Aurora attack for the first few cycle or two.

There's a problem with someone reprogramming the setpoints on protective relays. This is the classic "let's make it remotely updatable" problem. It's so much easier today to make things remotely updatable than to send someone to adjust a setting. The Aurora attack requires some of this. There's a lot to be said for hard-wired limits that can't be updated remotely, such as "reclosing beyond 20 degrees of phase error is not allowed, no matter what parameters are downloaded."

link to the pdf? (1)

supernova87a (532540) | about 4 months ago | (#47419151)

Does anyone have a better link to the document to download and view? The browser on that Muckrock site is supremely annoying.

Re:link to the pdf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47422227)

click the Expand button at bottom. then there will be a link to "Original pdf"

Re:link to the pdf? (1)

supernova87a (532540) | about 4 months ago | (#47425007)

Thanks so much!
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