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Cyber Assessment Methods for SCADA Security

This paper describes vulnerability assessment methodologies used in ongoing research and assessment activities designed to identify and resolve vulnerabilities so as to improve the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 brought to light threats and vulnerabilities that face the United States. In response, the U.S. Government is directing the effort to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure by creating programs to implement the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (1). One part of this effort involves assessing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These systems are essential to the control of critical elements of our national infrastructure, such as electric power, oil, and gas production and distribution. Since their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the United States, one of the main objectives of this program is to identify vulnerabilities and encourage the public and private sectors to work together to design secure control systems that resolve these weaknesses.