Identifying Vulnerabilities in CANDU Nuclear Power Plants to Cyber Attacks

9 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2019

See all articles by Shaharyar Khan

Shaharyar Khan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stuart Madnick

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

The increasing reliance of nuclear power plants on digital control systems for plant process and safety operations has increased their vulnerability to unprecedented cyberattacks that have the potential to damage critical plant infrastructure as well as impact public health through radiation exposure. In this paper, a few examples of recent cyberattacks on nuclear facilities are reviewed to falsify the myth of impregnable defense by virtue of being ‘air-gapped’. The focus of this paper is identification of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in CANDU nuclear power plants. A thumbnail description of the CANDU reactor design along with its unique safety features and control operations is provided, followed by identification of several process and systemic cybersecurity vulnerabilities prevalent in the design and operation of such plants.

Suggested Citation

Khan, Shaharyar and Madnick, Stuart E., Identifying Vulnerabilities in CANDU Nuclear Power Plants to Cyber Attacks (January 1, 2018). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5718-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3370521 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3370521

Shaharyar Khan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stuart E. Madnick (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-321
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6671 (Phone)
617-253-3321 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
52
PlumX Metrics