Los Alamos Director Echoes Cyber Concerns

                  Los Alamos Director Echoes Cyber Concerns

Securing the grid will be key for energy security going forward

PR Newswire

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., May 21, 2013

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Los Alamos
National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan told a gathering of energy
executives today that securing the electrical grid is a major concern now and
it's only becoming more serious.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130521/DC18652)

"If you look back at the last year, there were several hundred attacks on
critical infrastructure," McMillan said, addressing attendees at the Deloitte
Energy Conference near Washington, DC. "More than 40 percent of those attacks
were on the energy sector."

Resilience and reliability of the electrical grid have become key energy
security concerns at the Laboratory and are important focus areas in global
security. Experience with massive amounts of data, complex systems and
security technology involved in nuclear weapons research are now providing
insights for grid security, McMillan said.

"In the time it takes me to say this sentence, the external firewalls of Los
Alamos will be challenged hundreds of times by adversaries. Our systems, and
yours, are very attractive." McMillan said. "But encrypting control signals on
the grid is particularly challenging because any encryption scheme must be
able to meet competing standards for very rapid response and high security."

McMillan showed a Los Alamos device called a QKarD that uses principles of
quantum cryptography to send secure signals at the speed of light. Single
photons are used to produce secure random numbers between users, and these
random numbers are then used to authenticate and encrypt the grid control
data. QKarD was successfully tested recently at the University of Illinois to
send signals between grid components separated by more than 12 miles of
optical fiber.

Securing grid control systems with quantum cryptography would make them far
less vulnerable to those attempting to interfere with signals between
generators, control centers and substations.

For more information on QKarD:

  oLANL Developing Quantum Encryption to Secure Communications Networks
    (Power Magazine, May 20, 2013
  oQuantum cryptography put to work for electric grid security (Los Alamos
    National Laboratory news release February 2013)

The work has led to 27 U.S. and foreign patent applications and the Lab's
Technology Transfer Division is receiving inquiries from companies within the
electric-grid control industry.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution
engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by
Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the
University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company and URS Corporation for
the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability
of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from
weapons of mass destruction and solving problems related to energy,
environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.

SOURCE Los Alamos National Laboratory

Website: http://www.lanl.gov
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