Homeland Security discovers SCADA vulnerabilities.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) protocols are protocols that connect computers to various pieces of machinery, such as automatic valves in water treatment plants, lathes and drills in automated machine shops, and other semi-autonomous hardware in such a way that it acts the way big plants do in the movies. The idea is that you can remotely control various functions of the equipment so that you don't need an engineer on site all the time, they can run things remotely from a computer terminal. There's just one problem: Most SCADA protocols weren't meant to run across the public Net …

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There's something odd on the Net these days...

The handlers over at the Internet Storm Centre have been noticing a disturbing trend lately, namely, seeing the DNP protocol appearing on the open Net. You probably don't care about this because you've never heard of it before, but the protocol called DNP is used by process automation systems (SCADA) that control things like power generators and substations, pipelines, and other systems that have points of control scattered far and wide, systems in which a problem in one place can cascade into major problems everywhere downstream of the first problem. Now, maybe it's just me, but I find it worrisome …

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