What is this all about?
This project is about providing a hands-on and interactive educational platform for home use, industrial asset owners and operators, and most importantly - educational institutions.
What is the platform used for?
The CybatiWorks kit is an academic and professional control system and Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity platform. It allows students to get hands-on with the type of protocols, hardware, and software that are used in Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) facilities all over the world. In essence, it's all about learning how critical infrastructure works and how to defend it.
What are the learning outcomes and objectives?
The kit, virtual machine, guide, and labs all work together to teach and enable:
• History of critical infrastructure and control systems
• Cyber-physical security risk management
• Troubleshooting and command line analysis
• Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing
• Attack surface analysis
• Exploit code analysis
• Secure coding
• Logic analysis and physical I/O control (Functional and ladder logic with low-voltage I/O)
• Industrial, building and home automation protocols (e.g. Modbus/TCP, DNP3, S7, BACnet, ZWave)
• Engineering workstation and server operating systems
• HMI screens points, tags and design
• OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) for Process Control
• Kinetic model analysis
• Wireless analysis
• Application security (e.g. web, database)
• Intrusion detection and visualization
• Incident response and active defense
Ok that's cool but what's actually in it?
The CybatiWorks kit is a pre-configured kit with a Raspberry PI with PiFace, Snapcircuit components, USB cables (with Volt/Amp meter) and a Virtual Machine with Human Machine Interface (HMI), Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), and Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) I/O industrial protocols as well as labs for research and education. The kit includes all of the necessary elements for the participants to wire and automate their own traffic light with Modbus-enabled supervisory control, serve as a DNP3 RTU, or as a Step7 logic controller using a combination of open source and commercial demonstration software from Rex Controls and PeakHMI. In essence, there's a lot in this little kit and it can be used in a variety of ways.
Alright, it's all pretty sweet - how did you get started in this though?
I worked as part of the first cybersecurity team at one of the US National labs in 1998. It's there that I really found myself enjoying cybersecurity and I was drawn to the only place that cyberspace really becomes physical - control systems. In 2004 I started focusing on Industrial Control Systems and in 2006 I began working with the US National Power Grid where I would provide asset owners and operators guidance and education on how to secure their infrastructure.
When I realized that achieving security really came down to education I founded CYBATI and continued teaching as an Adjunct faculty member at two universities. We always hear about how important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is but there's more to be done to enable the teachers and students out there. That's where these kits come in. To date I have trained over 4,000 engineers and operators and this kit represents over a decade of hard work. This is my attempt to reduce the entry cost and accessibility of education for everyone so that we can all live in a safer world.
What are you going to use the raised money for?
All the money used to build the kits, test them out, and run a Beta program so far has come out of pocket. This $30,000 will be enough money for me to continue the program to the point where it can be offered out to home school groups, colleges, organizations, and our asset owners and operators. The kit is small but Industrial Control Systems and their software are incredibly expensive; often a single PLC with I/O can cost $10,000. The money will allow me to order the pieces I need for the kits in bulk to reduce costs and enable the dream to further education to become a reality.
Risks and challenges
With any large project there are bound to be risks and challenges. However, I have been working in the field of cybersecurity for nearly two decades and for a decade I have been teaching this material and refining the CYBATI kit. It started out as a much larger kit that I invested a significant portion of my life savings into building; the original lab has cost about $500,000 in parts alone. Now that I have refined the kit to the essentials and made it much more affordable I am confident the program will be a success. Also, my beautiful wife and I home school our 4.99 children (August 23 due date) and I feel that I am doing this project as much for their future as for everyone else. This project will be successful because education for our students and security of our national critical infrastructure is too important for this to fail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (57 days)