For decades our state has benefited from the presence of the Idaho National Laboratory, a scientific research entity devoted to energy issues. While it is best known for its work in the nuclear realm, the INL made news recently thanks to a special team of workers who help identify threats to our nation’s network of utility infrastructure.
According to several national news organizations, the Control System Security Program is part of the Department of Homeland Security but is housed at the INL.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Christian Science Monitor:
The ICS-CERT is charged with helping secure the nation’s industrial control systems – computerized systems that open and close valves, switches, and factory processes vital to the chemical, industrial, and power sectors. Their “fly away” teams visit factories, power plants, and pipeline companies to investigate cyber intrusions.
“ICS-CERT has recently identified an active series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies,” the confidential April 13 alert warns. “Multiple natural gas pipeline organizations have reported either attempts or intrusions related to this campaign. The campaign appears to have started in late December 2011 and is active today.”