Identifying and Anticipating Cyberattacks That Could Cause Physical Damage to Industrial Control Systems
Matthew G. Angle, Stuart Madnick, James L. Kirtley, Jr., Shaharyar Khan
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Physical control systems are increasingly controlled by reconfigurable, network-enabled devices to increase flexibility and ease commissioning and maintenance. Such capability creates vulnerabilities. Devices may be remotely reprogrammed by a malicious actor to act in unintended ways, causing physical damage to mechanical equipment, infrastructure, and life and limb. In this paper, past examples of actual damage to cyber-physical systems are shown, threats posed by software-controlled variable frequency drives (VFDs) are analyzed, and a small-scale version of an attack on ubiquitous VFD equipment is demonstrated.