CYB 6040 SCADA Cyber Threats Presentation

Research and choose ONE cyber threat to the United States Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. THIS IS AN INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT.

Two diligent students asked about the format for this type of assignment. Here is my response.

The Bullets and Research Assignments are individual. I discussed Bullets in my Kaltura and gave several examples in the discussion area. Students have already started posting Bullets and I have made comments or added material to each.

The SCADA assignment (and similar) is individual. However, I left the format open. I dislike papers as they do not involve thinking. However, I understand student need for structure.

So, at the very least, we need 1) Research the various SCADA threats; choose just ONE significant / specific threat; 2) Short Summary of your chosen SCADA THREAT: 3) Concise discussion of the SCADA threat and how it could make it through the VULNERABILITIES of the target system [National Critical Infrastructure Sectors are High-Value SCADA targets]; 4) Implications (IMPACT) of the Attack; 5) What Defenses and COUNTERMEASURES might be used to defend or mitigate the threat to the target. BTW, This type of hypothetical is called an Attack / Defense scenario (A/D). The student may choose any format that meets these requirements, preferably in order. [POWER POINTS – PPTX, Paper (WORD-Docx, Kaltura, or web camera narration of PPTX . Do not submit in HTML] However, references and sources in APA are required.

Note that these 4 sub-headers mirror the RN variables on the right side of the equation. It will be easy to assign a probability value or range to each variable and calculate (determine) the qualitative risk that the threat under consideration poises by RN analysis.

Now, there is an easy way to do this assignment and that is to use the . (Syllabus)

We are trying to determine the Qualitative Risk / or Lethality of a certain SCADA Threat. We do this by assigning probability ranges of success based on experience and expertise. Essentially we are looking at Best guesses and trying to bracken them by worst, normal, and best designations. So say you choose a shut down of the cooling system for a nuclear reactor. What would you say the probability would be using SCADA controls from remote maintenance services and not missiles or bombs? We assign a range ( examples in my INFOSEC / RISK PPTX in files) to each of the variables in the equation. We can estimate based on midpoints of the range the Risk level. These values are qualitative and not exact. They are based on your guesses and research. But it turns out that if we give 10 experts the same problem about 70% of the group would agree on the ranges. If they collaborate then the number is 80%. Those thoughtful qualitative guesses are actually better than we would initially suspect. They are averaged, and monetized for each percentage point of risk. Then put a huge list of known threats and organized by net risk associated with the identified threats. DHS does this and allocates its budget from top Net Risk to Lowest. Wherever there is not enough money to mitigate a specific threat, then the risk is assumed as acceptable.

If you want to simplify even further, we use the that ( Threats / Countermeasures). So your discussion revolves around only two parameters. This is close to real world because Vulnerabilities and Impact both drop out as a function of time at state = 0

Look for the Lethality legend where we assign points for low, medium and high risk ranges. Quantitative Risks calculations can be very difficult and non-linear. Frankly, what does it matter if you calculate a low range from 2-9% versus 6.543… exact? Risk is fluid and ranges are used to bracket the movement in time with change of conditions. Thats also why we use the mid-point.

Another real world example is the stock market. Watch how prices change everyday on a stock or mutual fund and see how money is invested to profit, protect or sacrifice positions based Risk and $. It would be easy to discuss threats to a stock position or fund and what Countermeasures might be employed by the investor for trading or exchange.

I have attached a team defined RN Risk Lethality matrix that the class may use. See: Link

I have also attached a prior Team A/D PIF on Iran’s Threats to nuclear annihilate Israel in 2012.

See: Link

(Download is ~ 12 MB and may take a few moments)

Check out slides 56-60 to get a feel for how the RN compressed Risk equation is used.


One student submitted a good answer to this assignment. I worked with this student to improve, clarify, shorten, and revise his response to excellent response. The former is BEFORE at: Link

and the latter is AFTER at: Link Students might want to review the AFTER in detail.

In terms of preference, responses to these assignments should be in order PowerPoint (PPTX), PowerPoint with Kaltura (MP4) or other narration, or WORD document with citations (DOCX), for Office 365.

Note how the AFTER would have easily fit into a PPTX presentation of about 6-10 slides with 1 for title information, 1 for References, and each sub header ( Threats, Vulnerabilities, Impact, & Countermeasures taken up 1 or 2 slides with 5-7 lines of information with no . AND a PPTX submission could add diagrams or maps which are a big point extra. Visuals are always better than lots of words.

Thanks to the student for letting me assist him /her.

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