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The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by
What is it about the 24 writers, that they think it makes sense for major industrial facilities to have their every function hijacked via the Internet? They did it later in season 7 with that chemical plant that was cyber-attacked. A near disaster occurred due to the hackers locking shut the safety valves, causing a dangerous over pressure in some kind of pressure vessel. Now here's the thing about pressurised systems. They should have on them pressure safety valves, which are purely mechanical in operation. They are set to open at a specific pressure using a hi-tech component called a spring. When they open, they allow the pressure from the system to move into a relief system.
Now in season 4, we have hackers taking control of nuclear power stations and causing them to suffer a meltdown. Absolutely no technical details are provided of how this is done, which given the overall intelligence of the plot, is probably for the best. The operators can't shut them down, leaving it up to the smart people at CTU to beat the evil hacking.
This cannot be done. Nuclear power reactors are not remote control toy cars. The mechanisms needed to shut them down are mechanical. The control rods need to be inserted. This is done by stopping the active forces that are holding them out. If you cut the power to the control system, the reactor automatically scrams. Cutting the power can be done by pulling fuses. No amount of code is going to change that.
Once the reactor is shut down, the only threat to fuel integrity is decay heat from the highly radioactive fission products that have just been produced (it is this heat, which was responsible for the meltdown at Three Mile Island). To control this, cooling needs to be maintained, but in a crunch this can be done using diesel powered water pumps.
I work at a nuclear plant, in the Design Engineering section.
Exactly zero percent of the control system is Windows based, networked out beyond the fence by any connection scheme, or hackable in any way.....even from within the plant.