Monday, May 20, 2013

Sanity Check: Nuclear Cyber Security Should be the Best, Right?

A few recent missile launchings notwithstanding, you may recall a little over a month ago things were hot and heavy in the North vs. South Korea showdown. On April 15th Japan Times published this account: South Korea Bolsters Security of Nuclear Plant Network, which opened thusly:
SEOUL – The state-run operator of South Korea’s nuclear power plants has separated its internal computer network from the Internet in an effort to guard against possible North Korean cyber attacks, Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday.
and continued:
It said Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. has also completely divided its nuclear plant control systems from its internal computer networks and restricted both systems’ access to the Internet, while USB ports of the plant control systems have also been sealed.
This sounded nutty to me, so I ran it by someone who knows better, and as he, an expert in nuclear security said over a blueberry tart:
Of course, they never should have been connected in the first place. 
Not sure if South Korean nuclear cyber security practices are representative of the wider state of affairs in the world, but in my dealings, South Korea has been at the forefront of cyber security thinking in Asia for some time. Maybe the press garbled this a bit?  I'd sure like to think so.

Kori nuclear plant photo credit:

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