Protecting the Power Grid Against Cyberattacks

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August 1, 2023 | Originally published by U.S. Department of Energy on June 27, 2023

Tristen Mullins enjoys the hidden side of computers. As a signals processing engineer for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she tries to uncover information hidden in components used on the nation’s power grid — information that may be susceptible to cyberattacks.

“I derive hidden information about a device by looking at what’s happening outside of the main process,” Mullins said. She looks for a variety of clues, such as how long it takes for a piece of hardware to fully turn on, how long it takes for a program to execute, or the device’s power consumption behavior.

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