Tendencias y Estudios / Digitalización

Identifying and Anticipating Cyberattacks That Could Cause Physical Damage to Industrial Control Systems

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.