In this September 2018 photo provided by the Idaho National Laboratory, INL interns Armando Juarez Jr., left, and Jordan Mussman work in the Faraday room in a cybersecurity electronics lab in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Idaho National Laboratory next year will move into a massive cybersecurity building and another that will house one of the nation’s most powerful supercomputers. (Chris Morgan/Idaho National Laboratory via AP)

Idaho lab protects US infrastructure from cyber attacks

December 24, 2018 - 9:16 am

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The United States is rushing to catch up with what cybersecurity experts say are threats to critical infrastructure control systems by hackers to energy pipelines, hydroelectric projects, drinking water systems and nuclear power plants.

The Idaho National Laboratory's cybersecurity labs and offices next year will move into a massive cybersecurity building, and another building will house one of the nation's most powerful supercomputers at a total cost of about $85 million.

Lab officials are also teaming with Idaho universities and others to produce cybersecurity workers to help fill an estimated worker shortage of more than a million.

Experts say current cybersecurity efforts mostly involve "bolting on" cyber protections to decades-old infrastructure control systems amid concerns they've already been infiltrated by malicious entities waiting for the opportune time to strike.