[ISN] Paper in China Sets Off Alarms in U.S.

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 00:03:37 -0600 (CST)

By John Markoff and David Barboza
The New York Times
March 20, 2010

It came as a surprise this month to Wang Jianwei, a graduate engineering 
student in Liaoning, China, that he had been described as a potential 
cyberwarrior before the United States Congress.

Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist and China specialist, told the 
House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 1o that it should be concerned 
because "Chinese researchers at the Institute of Systems Engineering of 
Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a 
small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading 
failure of the entire U.S."

When reached by telephone, Mr. Wang said he and his professor had indeed 
published "Cascade-Based Attack Vulnerability on the U.S. Power Grid" in 
an international journal called Safety Science last spring. But Mr. Wang 
said he had simply been trying to find ways to enhance the stability of 
power grids by exploring potential vulnerabilities.

"We usually say 'attack' so you can see what would happen," he said. "My 
emphasis is on how you can protect this. My goal is to find a solution 
to make the network safer and better protected." And independent 
American scientists who read his paper said it was true: Mr. Wang's work 
was a conventional technical exercise that in no way could be used to 
take down a power grid.


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Received on Sun Mar 21 2010 - 23:03:37 PDT

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