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Water System Hack And The Implications For Hardware Security

By: John Hallman

It is no longer enough to have security protections in the software alone.

Last month we talked about the SolarWinds hack and now this month another disturbing attack has taken place – this time on a water supply system in Florida. Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming more frequent, giving us all pause as to how secure the systems that serve our everyday life really are. What lessons can we take from this recent attack that we can implement to make things more secure moving forward?


There are many “bad actors” in the world today that thrive off of exploiting products. Both intentional insertions and unintentional weaknesses or flaws are a means for exploitation. But just doing an early trust assessment of your design can give you greater confidence it is secure. The assessment is easy, and we should most certainly start today. The solution is at hand and can serve as valuable weapon in the prevention of attacks either intended or unintended. For ICs used in systems or products needing higher levels of assurance, more extensive methods and technology exist.


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