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In a recent post, I highlighted a new Oracle white paper entitled, “Protecting the Electric Grid in a Dangerous World,” which describes how Oracle Identity Management solutions and the Oracle data security portfolio offer an effective, defense-in-depth security strategy to help meet this challenge, playing a key role in the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) cyber security standards.
An Oracle colleague asked appropriately, What about the oil and gas industry?  Isn’t this part of the energy industry also considered part of the critical infrastructure in the United States?  Isn’t the oil and gas industry vulnerable to cyber attack?
The United States possesses both the world’s strongest military and its largest national economy.
Critical infrastructures are those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government.
Terrorists seek to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit critical infrastructure and key resources across the United States to threaten national security, cause mass casualties, weaken our economy, and damage public morale and confidence. America’s open and technologically complex society includes a wide array of critical infrastructure and key resources that are potential terrorist targets. Critical infrastructure and key resources provide the essential services that underpin American society. While it is not possible to protect or eliminate the vulnerability of all critical infrastructure and key resources throughout the country, strategic improvements in security can make it more difficult for attacks to succeed and can lessen the impact of attacks that may occur.
The Energy Sector envisions a robust, resilient energy infrastructure in which continuity of business and services is maintained through secure and reliable information sharing, effective risk management programs, coordinated response capabilities, and trusted relationships between public and private security partners at all levels of industry and government. The descriptions accompanying each diagram came from the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (Energy Sector).
The petroleum segment entails the exploration, production, storage, transport, and refinement of crude oil. NERC’s CIPC has issued a summary of several electric power vulnerability assessment methodologies, including a variation of DOE’s Vulnerability and Risk Analysis Program methodology, in a suite of potential vulnerability assessment tools that electric power companies should consider using.
Work toward resilient and secure cyber networks and SCADA systems to detect and respond to cyber attacks.
The AGA, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), and APGA worked together to develop and release Security Guidelines: Natural Gas Industry, Transmission and Distribution. Energy is the infrastructure that supplies the driving force in most of American life today.
Recently the oil industry occupied the headlines, and the criticality of this infrastructure is not lost on terrorists. Scenarios involving the oil fields themselves, a jetliner crashing into the Ras Tanura facility in Saudi Arabia could remove 10 percent of the world’s energy imports in one act. Of course, the business of oil and gas production and distribution relies heavily on security information management systems, the systems which control energy production and distribution represent widely points of access for potential cyber attacks. Automated control has helped to improve the productivity, flexibility, and reliability of energy systems. Securing control systems is a key element in protecting the Nation’s energy infrastructure.
Identification and documentation of the critical cyber assets associated with the critical assets that support the reliable operation of the [oil or gas distribution system].
An appropriate level of personnel risk assessment, training, and security awareness for personnel having authorized cyber or unescorted physical access to critical cyber assets, including contractors and service vendors.
Identification and protection of the electronic security perimeter(s) inside which all critical cyber assets reside, as well as all access points on the perimeter. Defined methods, processes, and procedures for securing those systems determined to be critical cyber Assets, as well as the non-critical cyber assets within the electronic security perimeters. Identification, classification, response, and reporting of cyber security incidents related to critical cyber assets. Recovery plans for critical cyber assets that follow established business continuity and disaster recovery techniques and practices. Access control to assure robust identification, authentication and authorization of system users. Privileged user access control, closely tied to separation of duties, allows administrators only that access required to perform their jobs. In addition, complementary products from other vendors can be combined with the Oracle suite of products to implement a Defense-in-Depth Critical Infrastructure Protection security strategy strategy for the oil and gas industries. Thanks for getting this far!  If you have any input or suggestions, please submit a comment or drop me an email.
The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization. One of the highlights of my summer is the opportunity to attend the Aspen Security Forum an event that brings in senior government, military, academic, industry, and media members to discuss key security issues. This year’s event did not disappoint and featured speakers included the heads of Homeland Security, CIA, the Director of National Intelligence, President Obama’s senior advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism as well as the military commanders of U.S. What makes this event different from many conferences is that most speakers attend the whole three and half day event and interact with attendees providing ample opportunity to have further in depth side bar discussions of issues.
Looking first at the hacker incident, all of the senior government speakers were asked about it and all responded that they could not discuss it in any detail because of ongoing investigations. Speaking not about the DNC hack but about the generic situation, Clapper stated it was the motivation behind this type of incident that was the key. Continuing on about the DNC hack, Clapper said we still did not know enough to determine motivation. He went on to say that the cyber “realm opened up a whole new range of possibilities for them”. For example, the Soviets knew we made a mighty effort to keep track of the various numbers of aircraft, ships, submarines and other military equipment in their inventory.
Cyber is a new tool in the Russian maskirovka tool box, but what should be most remembered is that cyber tools give them the capability to manipulate data. Clapper replied that they have and cited the Foreign Area Officer program “that allows officers to continue their advanced education, spend a year in the country or area of their intended expertise and then have an assignment pattern that capitalizes on that investment.” He stated they have provided a greater emphasis on education throughout the intelligence community. Gail Harris’ 28 year career in intelligence included hands-on leadership during every major conflict from the Cold War to El Salvador to Desert Storm to Kosovo and at the forefront of one of the Department of Defense’s newest challenges, Cyber Warfare. This is part of a larger Federal Times 50-year anniversary project, showcasing the historic events from the last five decades that most shaped how government operates.
Figure 1.--Here we see Japanese school girls being trained to resist invaders with bamboo poles . Drill was a very common part of European and American education in the 129th and early-20th century.
This was part of the overall strategy of bleeding the Americans to force a negotiated peace.

The subject of Japan's commitment to continuing the War is a matter of considerable debate. Not only were Japanese soldiers trained never to surrender, but neither would many civilians. Japanese officials warned that the Americans would kill men who surrendered instantly and rape women. A peace faction led by Foreign Minister Togo complained that Ketsugo would destroy the nation. Let’s explore a bit of history and discuss the focus of Information Security in the Oil and Gas Critical Infrastructure. They include, but are not limited to, telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services, both governmental and private.
Bush, on December 17, 2003, served to amplify the focus and attention on Critical Infrastructure Protection.
The majority of these are owned and operated by the private sector and State or local governments. The Nation possesses numerous key resources, whose exploitation or destruction by terrorists could cause catastrophic health effects or mass casualties comparable to those from the use of a weapon of mass destruction, or could profoundly affect our national prestige and morale. In addition to strategic security enhancements, tactical security improvements can be rapidly implemented to deter, mitigate, or neutralize potential attacks.
The crude oil is refined into petroleum products that are then stored and distributed to key economic sectors throughout the United States. The Energy Sector has rapidly responded to the increasing need for enterprise-level physical and cyber security efforts and business continuity plans.
Energy of some kind heats our homes, moves us for one point to another and drives our businesses and industry. In mid-December 2004, Arab television aired an alleged audiotape message by Usama bin Laden in which he called upon his followers to wreak havoc on the U.S.
Maritime attacks are also option for terrorists; on October 6, 2002 a French tanker carrying 397,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran to Malaysia was rammed by an explosive laden boat off of the port of Ash Shihr, 353 miles east of Aden. However, energy control systems communicate with a multitude of physically dispersed devices and various information systems that can expose energy systems to malicious cyber attacks.
I can’t seem to find Information Security in the Oil and Gas Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Sectors Discovering Identity on there and I would like to connect with you there. The event covered a wide range of topics to include cyber, terrorism, geopolitics, and intelligence. This first article will provide an in depth look at some of the presentations that most jumped out at me. When Sciutto asked Clapper about it, he did indicate he could not talk about it in any detail and stated he wasn’t ready to make a public call on attribution. Scuitto asked the DNI if he thought the Russians had the intention of if not influencing the election “but of undermining confidence in the U.S. Clapper also said this was not “philosophically different” from what went on at the height of the Cold War. There were many incidents of them placing dummy versions of platforms at various military installations.
From the military perspective, you never want to get into a situation where you cannot trust the information being provided to you over your networks whether its logistics, maintenance, intelligence information, or emails back home to family members.
I wanted to know if he had made progress, particularly for the military side of the intelligence community, in allowing professionals to take time off to pursue advanced degrees so they could obtain areas of specialties.
This post is longer than most of my blog posts, but I felt the length was justified to give a good overview of the topic. They are also increasingly reliant upon certain critical infrastructures and upon cyber-based information systems. Many of the nation’s critical infrastructures have historically been physically and logically separate systems that had little interdependence. These critical infrastructures and key resources are both physical and cyber-based and span all sectors of the economy.
In addition, there is critical infrastructure so vital that its incapacitation, exploitation, or destruction, through terrorist attack, could have a debilitating effect on security and economic well-being. Approximately 49 percent of electricity is produced by combusting coal (primarily transported by rail), 19 percent in nuclear power plants, and 20 percent by combusting natural gas. Key petroleum products include motor gasoline, jet fuel, distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, and liquefied petroleum gases. There are more than 448,000 gas production and condensate wells and 20,000 miles of gathering pipeline in the country. Voluntarily conducted vulnerability assessments have not only improved sector security but have also demonstrated industry commitment to a secure and resilient Energy Sector. The industry security guidelines incorporate a risk-based approach for natural gas companies to consider when identifying critical facilities and determining appropriate actions, and are based on the DHS Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The energy sector is critical to the well being of our economy, national defense and quality of life. This level of reliability is made possible by the extensive use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control System (DCS), and other control systems that enable automated control of energy production and distribution. A successful cyber attack could compromise control systems and disrupt energy networks and the critical sectors that depend on them. I shall be happy and will most gladly be wiling to receive anymore scholarly materials from you that will in no small measures help me in my research. Well known media members moderated the sessions and as expected the DNC hack was the hottest topic. From my perspective as a former intelligence officer I’m reminded of how good the former Soviet Union was at maskirovka or military deception.
My favorite was an incident involving a picture of a Soviet submarine one of the analysts working for me showed me one day.
Reputable nongovernment cyber experts have looked at the DNC hack and concluded the Russians were behind it.
I reminded him that one of the major criticisms of military intelligence officers was a lack of proficiency in the social, economic, and political issues in various geographic regions. As a result of advances in information technology and the necessity of improved efficiency, however, these infrastructures have become increasingly automated and interlinked. The remaining generation is provided by hydroelectric plants (7 percent), oil (2 percent), and by renewable (solar, wind, and geothermal) and other sources (3 percent).

Both crude oil and petroleum products are imported, primarily by ship, as well as produced domestically. Gas is processed (impurities removed) at over 550 operable gas processing plants and there are almost 302,000 miles of interstate and intrastate pipeline for the transmission of natural gas. Many asset owners and operators conduct self-assessments or contract with third parties to perform energy vulnerability assessments and implement protective programs at their facilities. The TSA, along with the PHMSA, is currently conducting onsite reviews based on these guidelines. Energy most travel often long distances from the site where it is obtained to the point where it is converted into energy for use, a catastrophic event at any of the sites or along its route can adversely impact the energy infrastructure and cause ripples in other infrastructures. These systems integrate a variety of distributed electronic devices and networks to help monitor and control energy flows in the electric grid and oil and gas infrastructure. The event gives me the opportunity to hear directly from the people developing and executing our security strategy how well it is doing.
They were so good at hiding their intentions you had to keep in mind if they allowed us to see a developing situation you had to keep in the back of your mind the question of “why?
Therefore, I would suggest looking at future releases of email from the DNC hack with a jaundiced eye.
11, 2001, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge got a phone call from the state police informing him that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. These same advances have created new vulnerabilities to equipment failure, human error, weather and other natural causes, and physical and cyber attacks. Electricity generated at power plants is transmitted over 211,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Electricity is required to operate and maintain homes, hospitals, schools, businesses and industrial plants; it is also necessary to refine oil. The security of the pipeline in Alaska increases in importance as efforts are made to make America more independent on energy use.
There is no way of knowing for sure if someone has or has not manipulated the information in those emails.
He went inside, turned on the TV, and watched as a reporter abruptly ended an interview at the Pentagon because of a loud explosion.a€?Chilling,a€? Ridge recalls. Japan after the Meiji Resoration established a national educational systen for the first time and used European models for their new system. Addressing these vulnerabilities will necessarily require flexible, evolutionary approaches that span both the public and private sectors, and protect both domestic and international security.
Voltage is stepped down at substations before being distributed to 140 million customers over millions of miles of lower voltage distribution lines.
Finally, natural gas is distributed to homes and businesses over 1,175,000 miles of distribution pipelines. Disruption of electrical flow or a power grid would impact the economy and defense as well as response and recovery.
I was not a particularly good photo analyst but even I knew there was something wrong with that picture.
The physical educational (PE) program as designed by the new Ministry of Education (MoE) at first involved light gymnastics, but over time, drill and evebtually overt military training became part of the phyical education system. The electricity infrastructure is highly automated and controlled by utilities and regional grid operators using sophisticated energy management systems that are supplied by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to keep the system in balance.
In the United States, there are more than 500,000 crude oil-producing wells, 30,000 miles of gathering pipeline, and 51,000 miles of crude oil pipeline. The heavy reliance on pipelines highlights the interdependency with the Transportation Sector and the reliance on the Energy Sector for power means that virtually all sectors have dependencies with the Energy Sector.
Terrorists conduct research as to the easiest point to damage the flow of oil or to the point where the most damage can be done. There are 133 operable petroleum refineries, 116,000 miles of product pipeline, and 1,400 petroleum terminals. Petroleum also relies on sophisticated SCADA and other systems to control production and distribution; however, crude oil and petroleum products are stored in tank farms and other facilities.
Oil’s infrastructure consists of five components: production, crude oil transport, refining, product transport and distribution, and control and other external support systems. The thousands of miles of pipelines offer an endless list of targets for terrorist attacks, and during transport there are opportunities for impacting more than one critical infrastructure. I resigned as governor and the rest is history.a€?That history included the biggest reorganization the federal government had ever seen.
It included the formation of the Homeland Security Department, the second largest agency in government with 180,000 employees at the time. It included a newfound reliance on, and skepticism about, private sector contractors to help combat an unfamiliar enemy.
During the Taisho era (1912-26) about 50 percent of school PE teachers were military personnel. And it included the transformation in how agencies store and share intelligence information, emphasizing the need for more sweeping access.A a€?There was an operational challenge that goes on even as we speak, when you aggregate so many units of government and put a single face on the enterprise,a€? Ridge said. Schools began assigning military officers secondary and teriiary schools to teach military drill. The military began to see school PE as preparing students for subsequent military training. Ridge said answering that question became the top priority, a€?even before the ink was drya€? on the 2002 Homeland Security Act.a€?We suddenly needed to go from a Cold War strategy of need to know, to a strategy of need to share,a€? Ridge said. Although a few strategic islands had been lost, they told each other, most of their conquests, including the Chinese heartland, were firmly in their hands, and the bulk of their army was undefeated.
Even now they could scarcely believe that any foe would have the audacity to attempt landings in Japan itself.
Behind the beaches, enormous connecting underground caves had been stocked with caches of food and thousands of tons of ammunition. Manning the nation's ground defenses were 2,350,000 regular soldiers, 250,000 garrison troops, and 32,000,000 civilian militiamen, a total of 34,600,000, more than the combined armies of the United States, Great Britain, and Nazi Germany." [Manchester, pp.

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