Blackout

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Blackout

Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 17:18

14 Sep 2013, 13:33 #1

Broadcast on Channel 4 - 9/9/13 at 21:00
Produced by Raw TV Ltd

To be repeated:
4seven - 15/9/13 at 22:00
Channel4 - 16/9/13 at 22:55

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/blackout
http://www.raw.co.uk/productions/blackout-coming-soon/

Directed by Ben Chanan who also directed The Plot to Bring Down Britains Planes
http://www.raw.co.uk/productions/docume ... bomb-plot/
http://z13.invisionfree.com/julyseventh ... p=22000552
Blackout is a meticulously researched drama exploring the effects of a devastating cyber-attack on Britain’s national electricity grid.

When Britain suffers a catastrophic nationwide power failure, members of the public record what they can on cameras and phones.  As the country descends into anarchy, a cast of ordinary characters struggle to feed and protect themselves and their families. This is the story of Britain’s week without electricity, told by those kept filming to the end.



Blackout (Channel 4) brings the ‘What-If’ genre up to date with a found-footage twist: fictional scenes featuring professional and non-professional actors were filmed on mobile phones, laptops and camcorders, and seamlessly interwoven with real found-footage recorded during actual power cuts and other emergencies.  The result is a groundbreaking and terrifyingly realistic account of Britain being plunged into darkness.
Charlie Veitch puts in a brief appearance midway through.
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 17:18

14 Sep 2013, 14:02 #2

Raw TV – Call For Volunteers
Friday, May 24th, 2013. Published in Film & Cinematography by Stuart Barker

Do you want to get your face on TV? Or maybe you’re interested in seeing how a TV show is filmed? Raw TV are looking for people to take part in a new TV show for C4 called ‘Blackout’ as extras. Blackout will be on Channel 4 in the autumn and focuses on what would happen if the National Grid was wiped out in a terrorist attack.

The hospital scene is being filmed solely on iPhone’s and will sit along clips we have taken from you tube to make a compelling and believable film.

No acting experience is necessary they are just looking for people of all ages who would like to get their faces on TV.

Lisa Gomer from Raw TV explains “Raw TV need people to appear as extras in a hospital scene on Sunday 9th of June filming at Wimbledon Studios (which is where the Bill used to be shot!). We are planning to get a coach laid on to pick up in Portsmouth and drop you home after the shoot. Please be aware this may be a long day. We will also feed you-lots!”

The director Ben Chanan & Raw won a Bafta for the last drama they made together and we have high hopes for this one too. It is certainly a unique film.

The lead actress, makeup assistant and Production coordinator are all from Portsmouth and it would be great to get a few more local faces on board.

Please contact me direct if you are interested by email, lisa.gomer@raw.co.uk
http://www.strong-island.co.uk/2013/05/ ... olunteers/
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 17:18

14 Sep 2013, 15:18 #3

voice-over wrote:The government has implemented special temporary legislation using powers granted to them under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This allows them to set up temporary courts and to deploy armed forces on the streets of Britain. The act also gives the government central control over the allocation of emergency supplies; money, water, food, and medicine. According to the Prime Minister until the nation's power supply is restored these measures are necessary to keep Britain and the bare bones of its infrastructure alive.
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 17:18

31 Oct 2013, 18:00 #4

National Geographic

American Blackout

American Blackout imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless. Gritty, visceral and totally immersive, see what it might take to survive from day one, and who would be left standing when the lights come back on.
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/c ... n-blackout

As with the RawTV programme it uses the theme of a cyber attack causing the black out.
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

31 Oct 2013, 23:33 #5

Muncher @ Oct 31 2013, 06:00 PM wrote:
National Geographic

American Blackout

American Blackout imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless. Gritty, visceral and totally immersive, see what it might take to survive from day one, and who would be left standing when the lights come back on.
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/c ... n-blackout

As with the RawTV programme it uses the theme of a cyber attack causing the black out.
As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York City during a blackout in 2003. More than 150 companies and groups will take part in a drill that will simulate attacks on the power grid.
By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: August 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — The electric grid, as government and private experts describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry. If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.

This is why thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.

They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate.

“This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days,” said the official in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as NERC. “We really want to go beyond that.”

One goal of the drill, called GridEx II, is to explore how governments would react as the loss of the grid crippled the supply chain for everyday necessities.

“If we fail at electricity, we’re going to fail miserably,” Curt Hébert, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a recent conference held by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Mr. Harrell said that previous exercises were based on the expectation that electricity “would be up and running relatively quick” after an attack.

Now, he said, the goal is to “educate the federal government on what their expectations should or shouldn’t be.” The industry held a smaller exercise two years ago in which 75 utilities, companies and agencies participated, but this one will be vastly expanded and will be carried out in a more anxious mood.

Most of the participants will join the exercise from their workplaces, with NERC, in Washington, announcing successive failures. One example, organizers say, is a substation break-in that officials initially think is an attempt to steal copper. But instead, the intruder uses a USB drive to upload a virus into a computer network.

The drill is part of a give-and-take in the past few years between the government and utilities that has exposed the difficulties of securing the electric system.

The grid is essential for almost everything, but it is mostly controlled by investor-owned companies or municipal or regional agencies. Ninety-nine percent of military facilities rely on commercial power, according to the White House.

The utilities play down their abilities, in comparison with the government’s. “They have the intelligence operation, the standing army, the three-letter agencies,” said Scott Aaronson, senior director of national security policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned utilities. “We have the grid operations expertise.”

That expertise involves running 5,800 major power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, monitored and controlled by a staggering mix of devices installed over decades. Some utilities use their own antique computer protocols and are probably safe from hacking — what the industry calls “security through obscurity.”

But others rely on Windows-based control systems that are common to many industries. Some of them run on in-house networks, but computer security experts say they are not confident that all the connections to the public Internet have been discovered and secured. Many may be vulnerable to software — known as malware — that can disable the systems or destroy their ability to communicate, leaving their human operators blind about the positions of switches, the flows of current and other critical parameters. Experts say a sophisticated hacker could also damage hard-to-replace equipment.

In an effort to draw utilities and the government closer, the industry recently established the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council, made up of high-level executives, to meet with federal officials. The first session is next month.

Preparation for the November drill comes as Congress is debating laws that could impose new standards to protect the grid from cyberattacks, but many in the industry, some of whom would like such rules, doubt that they can pass.

The drill is also being planned as conferences, studies and even works of fiction are raising near-apocalyptic visions of catastrophes involving the grid.

A National Academy of Sciences report last year said that terrorists could cause broad hardship for months with physical attacks on hard-to-replace components. An emerging effort led in part by R. James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is gearing up to pressure state legislatures to force utilities to protect equipment against an electromagnetic pulse, which could come from solar activity or be caused by small nuclear weapons exploded at low altitude, frying crucial components.

An attack using an electromagnetic pulse is laid out in extensive detail in the novel “One Second After,” published in 2009 and endorsed by Newt Gingrich. In another novel, “Gridlock,” published this summer and co-written by Byron L. Dorgan, the former senator from North Dakota, a rogue Russian agent working for Venezuela and Iran helps hackers threaten the grid. In the preface, Mr. Dorgan says such an attack could cause 10,000 times as much devastation as the terrorists’ strikes on Sept. 11, 2001.

Despite the growing anxiety, the government and the private sector have had trouble coordinating their grid protection efforts. The utility industry argues that the government has extensive information on threats but keeps it classified. Government officials concede the problem, and they have suggested that some utility executives get security clearances. But with hundreds of utilities and thousands of executives, it cannot issue such clearances fast enough. And the industry would like to be instantly warned when the government identifies Internet servers that are known to be sources of malware.

Another problem is that the electric system is so tightly integrated that a collapse in one spot, whether by error or intent, can set off a cascade, as happened in August 2003, when a power failure took a few moments to spread from Detroit to New York.

Sometimes utility engineers and law enforcement officials also seem to speak different languages. In his book “Protecting Industrial Control Systems From Electronic Threats,” Joseph Weiss, an engineer and cybersecurity expert, recounted a meeting between electrical engineers and the F.B.I. in 2008. When an F.B.I. official spoke at length about I.E.D.’s, he was referring to improvised explosive devices, but to the engineers the abbreviation meant intelligent electronic devices.

And experts fear government-sponsored hacking. Michael V. Hayden, another former C.I.A. director, speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center conference, said that the Stuxnet virus, which disabled some of Iran’s centrifuges for enriching uranium, might invite retaliation.

“In a time of peace, someone just used a cyberweapon to destroy another nation’s critical infrastructure,” he said. “Ouch.”

As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow - NYTimes.com
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

01 Nov 2013, 11:31 #6

Bridget @ Nov 1 2013, 12:33 AM wrote:
As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York City during a blackout in 2003. More than 150 companies and groups will take part in a drill that will simulate attacks on the power grid.
By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: August 16, 2013

.... One example, organizers say, is a substation break-in that officials initially think is an attempt to steal copper. But instead, the intruder uses a USB drive to upload a virus into a computer network.

...

And experts fear government-sponsored hacking. Michael V. Hayden, another former C.I.A. director, speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center conference, said that the Stuxnet virus, which disabled some of Iran’s centrifuges for enriching uranium, might invite retaliation.

“In a time of peace, someone just used a cyberweapon to destroy another nation’s critical infrastructure,” he said. “Ouch.”


As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow - NYTimes.com
Son of Stuxnet Found in the Wild on Systems in Europe

By Kim Zetter
10.18.11
3:54 PM

Diagram of the Duqu malware, courtesy of Symantec.

A little more than one year after the infrastructure-destroying Stuxnet worm was discovered on computer systems in Iran, a new piece of malware using some of the same techniques has been found infecting systems in Europe, according to researchers at security firm Symantec.

The new malware, dubbed “Duqu” [dü-kyü], contains parts that are nearly identical to Stuxnet and appears to have been written by the same authors behind Stuxnet, or at least by someone who had direct access to the Stuxnet source code, says Liam O Murchu. He’s one of the leading experts on Stuxnet who produced extensive analysis of that worm with two of his Symantec colleagues last year and has posted a paper detailing the Duqu analysis to date.

Duqu, like Stuxnet, masks itself as legitimate code using a driver file signed with a valid digital certificate. The certificate belongs to a company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, which Symantec has declined to identify. F-Secure, a security firm based in Finland, has identified the Taipei company as C-Media Electronics Incorporation. The certificate was set to expire on August 2, 2012, but authorities revoked it on Oct. 14, shortly after Symantec began examining the malware.

The new code does not self-replicate in order to spread itself — and is therefore not a worm. Nor does it contain a destructive payload to damage hardware in the way that Stuxnet did. Instead, it appears to be a precursor to a Stuxnet-like attack, designed to conduct reconnaissance on an unknown industrial control system and gather intelligence that can later be used to conduct a targeted attack.

“When we talked about Stuxnet before, we expected there was another component of Stuxnet we didn’t see that was gathering information about how a plant was laid out,” O Murchu says. “But we had never seen a component like that [in Stuxnet]. This may be that component.”

Although Duqu was created some time after Stuxnet, a component similar to it could have been used by Stuxnet’s attackers to gather intelligence for their payload.

Duqu appears to have been operative for at least a year. Based on the dates the binary files were compiled, Symantec says attacks using the malware may have been conducted as early as December 2010, about five months after Stuxnet was discovered, and about 18 months after Stuxnet was believed to have first been launched on computers in Iran.

“The real surprising thing for us is that these guys are still operating,” O Murchu says. “We thought these guys would be gone after all the publicity around Stuxnet. That’s clearly not the case. They’ve clearly been operating over the last year. It’s quite likely that the information they are gathering is going to be used for a new attack. We were just utterly shocked when we found this.”

Symantec received two variants of the malware on Oct. 14 from an unidentified research lab “with strong international connections.”

“Obviously this is a sensitive topic, and for whatever reason, they’ve decided at this point they don’t want to be identified,” O Murchu says, referring to earlier beliefs about Stuxnet had been created by a nation state with the aim of sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program.

Symantec received two variants of the malware, both of which had infected the same machine. Since then, O Murchu and his colleagues have found other samples on about 10 machines. The researchers found, after searching their own malware archive for similar files, that one of the variants was first captured by Symantec’s threat detection system on Sept. 1, 2011. Symantec has declined to name the countries where the malware was found, or to identify the specific industries infected, other than to say they are in the manufacturing and critical infrastructure sectors.

Although the vast majority of Stuxnet infections were based in Iran, O Murchu says the Duqu infections that have been discovered so far are not grouped in any geographical region. He said, however, that this could change if new infections are discovered.

The name given to the malware is based on a prefix “~DQ” that the malware uses in the names of files that it creates on an infected system. O Murchu says the malware uses five files. These include a dropper file that drops all of the components onto an infected system that the malware will need to do its work; a loader that places the files into memory when the computer starts; a remote access Trojan that serves as a backdoor on infected systems to siphon data from it; another loader that executes the Trojan; and a keystroke logger.

Like Stuxnet, Duqu uses a sophisticated and unique technique to hide its components in the memory of a machine, rather than on the hard drive, to avoid detection by anti-virus engines, and also tricks the system into loading files from memory instead of from hard disk. This technique was one of the first red flags Symantec had found in Stuxnet that indicated it was doing something beyond other types of malware they had seen before.

The malware is configured to run for 36 days, after which it automatically removes itself from an infected system.

O Murchu says they still have no idea how Duqu was delivered to infected systems. Stuxnet primarily used a zero-day vulnerability that allowed it to spread to systems via an infected USB stick.

“There’s an installer component [to Duqu] we haven’t seen,” O Murchu saus. “We don’t know if the installer is self-replicating. That’s a piece of the jigsaw that we’re missing right now.”

The variants are about 300 kilobytes in size — compared to Stuxnet’s 500 kb — and use a custom protocol to communicate between an infected system and a command-and-control server to siphon data from an infected machine and load new components onto it. According to O Murchu, the malware tries to disguise its malicious communication by appending it to a 54 x 54 pixel jpeg file. The appended data is encrypted, and the researchers are still analyzing the code to determine what the communication contains.

Update: This post was updated to correct the size of the jpeg file the malware sends to the command-and-control server.

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http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/10/son-of-stuxnet-in-the-wild/
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

01 Nov 2013, 12:04 #7

GridEx

The objectives of the NERC Grid Security Exercise (GridEx) series are to exercise the current readiness of participating Electricity Sub-sector entities to respond to a cyber incident and provide input for  ​

security program improvements to the bulk power system. GridEx is a biennial international grid security exercise that uses best practices and other contributions from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NERC conducted the first sector-wide grid security exercise, GridEx 2011, on November 16-17, 2011. The exercise was designed to validate the readiness of the Electricity Sub-sector to respond to a cyber incident, strengthen utilities’ crisis response functions, and provide input for internal security program improvements. The GridEx 2011 after-action report is below.
On November 13-14, 2013, GridEx II will exercise NERC and industry crisis response plans and identify actionable improvement recommendations for plans, security programs, and skills. The scenario will build on lessons learned from GridEx 2011 and include both cybersecurity and physical security components.

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http://www.nerc.com/pa/CI/CIPOutreach/Pages/GridEX.aspx
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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