How Extended Unix Tools Can Measure the Changing Security Posture of Power-Control Networks

Presented By:
Gabriel Weaver, Dartmouth College
Date and Location:
Friday, January 4, 2013 - 1:00pm
NCSA Auditorium | Webcast
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The smart grid will increase the stability and reliability of the grid overall with vast numbers of cyber components. These devices are a source of disparate data because their configuration, communications, and logs are expressed in a variety of high-level languages such as CIM, Cisco IOS, GOOSE, and SCL. Many of these high-level languages encode hierarchical object models that traditional Unix text-processing tools cannot process. We designed our eXtended Unix tools (XUTools) to operate upon context-free languages, however, because context-free languages may have arbitrarily deep hierarchies. We can use our XUTools library (libxutools) to deliver capabilities that are directly aligned with high-level strategic goals in the Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity. In this talk, we will demonstrate how utilities and auditors can use these libxutools enabled capabilities to measure the changing security posture of power-control networks.


Gabriel A. Weaver is a Ph.D Candidate at Dartmouth College. His current research focuses on libxutools, a library that extends the class of languages upon which traditional Unix text-processing tools can operate. Just as programmers use high-level languages to program more efficiently, so can system and network administrators as well as policy analysts use his tools to analyze texts relative to a high-level language. His research received worldwide coverage in 2011 when it was Slashdotted; articles appeared in a variety of news outlets that included ComputerWorld, CIO Magazine, and Communications of the ACM. His research evolved out of previous work in the Classics where he worked with The Perseus Project at Tufts University, Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, and the Archimedes Palimpsest Project to develop new ways to reference, retrieve, and analyze the historical transmission of text and diagram.

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About the TCIPG Seminar Series:

The seminar series is presented by the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Project, an $18 million multi-university research effort whose partner institutions include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, Dartmouth, and Washington State University. The TCIPG Project, a successor to the earlier NSF-funded TCIP Center, was founded in 2009 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is housed in the Information Trust Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.