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INL technology shows promise in detecting, blocking grid cyberattacks

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho National Lab and New Mexico company has designed a technology that can block attacks on the nation's power grid.

During a recent live demonstration at INL's critical infrastructure test range complex, the device was tested against a series of remote access attempts, simulating a cyberattack.

The device alerted operators to the abnormal commands and blocked them automatically. It prevented the attacks from accessing and damaging critical power grid components.

Relays are the heart and soul of the nation’s power grid. They are designed to quickly turn off breakers when a disturbance is detected. For instance, relays can prevent expensive equipment from being damaged when a power line fails because of a severe storm.

“As cyberattacks against the nation’s critical infrastructure have grown more sophisticated, there is a need for a device to provide a last line of defense against threats," said Jake Gentle, INL Program Manager.

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Bill Cummings


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