Letter Re: Some Notes on SCADA Software

I have been reading SurvivalBlog for some time and have read your novel Patriots and now reading “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”. Great job and love your work. I work as a SCADA programmer for water, waste water and power plants and was wondering if you had some background on this. I know you are somewhat hard on the system as an overall and it is well aimed. Most of the programs and programmer I am around take much care as possible to keep the Windows based computer as a window into the system only. We use Industrial based control known as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). These are not based on the Windows platform and need a specialized programs to view and change them. I’m not saying some one can’t get into the system but it would be hard for anyone except with the software and a great deal of knowledge. We also make a special effort to always have a manual backup system that does not require the PLC to operate. Most of the Electrical Substations and power plants that I have been around the controls are so old that they are mostly “monitor only”. When we program a new substation, the SCADA Computer does not make any decisions. Its only [made] by an operator interface and the trip and re-close is done be a relay, which is now electronic. (The old relays were magnetic, but with anything put in or changed in the 20 years would most likely be electronic.) There has been a move in the last few years to get away from the PLC and move to something we call Soft Logic. This is where the code is run on a Windows based computer. We have resisted because of the [inadequate] reliability of it and the threat of viruses and [the lack of] security of the Window- based platform.

I love your work and was just wondering where you knowledge came from on this subject? My family is buying into the survival thought process and it has made my road a lot easier to be prepared, I am a pastor of a small church and they sometimes look at me a little funny, but I have the family starting on the right track. Keep up the good work.

Luke 22:35-38 (NKJV)
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.”
36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

It is time to sell our Garment and buy a sword until Jesus tells us we have enough. – J.M., Pastor and SCADA Programmer