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National Institute of Technology, Ishikawa College






Development of cyber range for operational technology using open source software

Industrial control systems such as factories, power grids, gas and transportation systems are used in a wide variety of social infrastructures. However, for the most part, industrial systems have been considered relatively safe from cyberattacks because they have been traditionally segregated from the public internet.
However, modern ICSs are networked to collect information through IoT devices, visualize information by dashboards, and use of remote control, so it can no longer be said to be safe from cyber attacks. However, most communication protocols for ICS were designed without cybersecurity in mind. A cyber attack on an ICS, as opposed to an attack on an information system alone, can directly affect the physical object. Incidents can shut down not only processes controlled by the ICS, but also services provided by the ICS, or deliver products that do not meet product requirements. Incidents can also result in lost opportunities by disrupting the production or shipment of products containing hazardous materials. Operational technology (OT) cybersecurity is therefore a critical element in the protection of the industrial environment and critical infrastructure. One way to address these threats is through training in a cyber range.
OT cybersecurity training requires the creation of a test environment that closely resembles a real-world environment, including PLCs and control devices. However, the use of vendor-supplied PLCs is subject to restrictions such as disclosure and confidentiality.
In this study, we developed cyber range for OT security using OpenPLC, an open source system without such restrictions. The human machine interface (HMI) was developed using the open source software Node-RED.
The developed system allows students to learn about the dangers of cyber-attacks on ICSs, such as information theft through man-in-the-middle attacks and malfunctions caused by cyber-attacks on vulnerable protocols.

Education Research and Practice
Terrsa Hall A