The US Department of Energy is in the latest cryptocurrency news for its attempt to explore blockchain technology – seeing it as its first line of defense against cyberattacks on its power plans.
According to an announcement which was published by the department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) unit, the phase two of an electric grid security project has been launched in partnership with the decentralized cybersecurity startup Taeklon (formerly Grid7).
In addition to this, the laboratory provided a grant of $1 million to Taeklon last year. Now, during the second phase of the project, the startup will research on how blockchain technology can be used to secure a power plant – by keeping all sensor, actuator and device transactions on a distributed ledger.
The announcement said:
“Accurate information on the status of power plant operations is critical for electric grid security. When the storage of key information is decentralized, “there is no single point of failure.”
For those of you wondering how could a cyberattack occur on a power plant, the lab was confident that such a system could be compromised so that it appears operational when it is actually shut down by hackers, “leaving millions without power” as the lab said.
“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,” NETL concluded.
Right now, Taekion is also looking to work on other applications that would help and secure the energy transactions to protect process data at power generation facilities, increase the grid reliability and integrate to a more decentralized energy infrastructure.
This project is part of the energy department’s Office of Fossil Energy Sensors and Controls program and is funded through the department’s Small Business Innovation Research program.
The department also recently announced federal funding of up to $4.8 million for universities working on R&D projects including the ones related to blockchain.
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