Friday, March 27, 2009

Reader Comment – 03-26-09 – Webinar

Fred Millar provides a friendly yet sarcastic comment about on an earlier blog concerning the ChemITC webinar next week. While Fred’s comment was probably intended at least partially in jest, there is a serious point underlying the comment. Fred said:
“Just for fun, you might good-naturedly with a virtual wink ask Henry if anyone worries that hackers might someday intrude upon the major shippers' use of sophisticated computer hazmat re-routing programs to avoid major target cities (by truck and rail), with the result that some TIH cargoes begin again going through all the 46 major US target cities until the local officials catch on to the enormous catastrophic risk?”
Computer controls are becoming a larger part of everything. Computers keep track of every bit of information in the modern chemical facility from product development, personnel, inventory, scheduling through packaging and shipping. On the process side the computers open valves, control weighment, heating, and cooling. Now we are starting to make computers a major part of security systems. IT Security people have been battling hackers, viruses, worms and Trojans in their information systems for quite some time. Control system engineers are just now starting to deal with similar problems. The question is are the security system people going to be proactive about security of their systems or will they wait until they are attacked? My bet is on the latter.

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