US Department of Energy Progresses With Blockchain Power Plant Security Research


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A blockchain project sponsored by the United States government aiming to bolster power plant security has entered its second phase, participants confirmed in a press release on April 10.

The project, principally a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Colorado-based security firm Taekion, aims to reduce the ability of cybercriminals to compromise aspects of the energy supply chain.

The effort, which is worth $1 million, utilizes blockchain to shore up security and prevent remote attacks such as those which afflicted Ukraine’s grid in 2016.

Taekion is currently researching how the technology could appear in suitable solutions, which would be deployed at power plants themselves.

“Accurate information on the status of power plant operations is critical for electric grid security,” the press release explains. It continues:

“For example, one method of cyberattack involves compromising a system so that it appears operational when it has actually been shut down by the hackers, leaving millions without power […] The applications being developed in the NETL-managed project have the potential to thwart such attacks by preventing hackers from altering the plant’s operational information.”

As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain’s potential role in the energy sector is currently the focus of multiple schemes worldwide.

These include deployment in new areas such as supply and demand balancing, along with cost-saving and contracts.

Last week, Russia’s national energy giant Gazprom announced it would use blockchain in its gas supply agreements.

In January, the DOE greenlighted $4.8 million of funding for innovative technology research, with blockchain as one of the targets.


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