Smart Buildings And Network Security
Smart buildings, which use building automation systems (BAS) to put air temperature, lighting and security on a common network, are popping up on college campuses and in the corporate world:
These buildings are converging with traditional IT infrastructure to improve efficiency and real-time control. Building managers are demanding that control systems be integrated into IT networks; the network of sensors and controllers are to be linked into other IT applications.
- Kenmark Group (a real estate firm in San Francisco) has created an operations center that centrally monitors multiple office buildings using a web portal.
- Panasonic corporate headquarters is replacing wall-mounted thermostats with virtual thermostats controlled by PCs.
- Toronto's Pearson International Airport is tying a flight information database to heating, lighting and air conditioning systems at each gate in order to restrict energy use to those periods when gate areas are occupied.
(LONTalk or BACnet use Ethernet and TCP/IP)
However, sharing the IP backbone raises security concerns among network admins. Yale is trying to address these concerns in a project that consolidates its BAS for 210 campus buildings. They've created an isolated, parallel network protected by firewalls and uses nonroutable IP addresses to keep data off the Internet.
Jerry Hill, director of systems engineering at Yale, says security is paramount. "We don't want a student to hack into our building management systems just because they can," he says.
Security problems show up at every level, due to the lack of standards in the industry. Manufacturers have little concept of directory-enabled security. In some buildings, you can access front door locks through the BAS systems. "Security is a very serious matter," says Mark Kendall, CEO of Kenmark Group.
Science fiction authors have already "tested" building security systems in their imaginations - and the systems often fail. Here's an account that would probably scare the wits out of many systems and building managers from William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer. The technologically savvy Panther Moderns are helping Case and Molly break into the Sense/Net corporate headquarters:
Case ... had only a vague idea of what the Panther Moderns planned as a diversion for the Sense/Net security people. His job was to make sure the intrusion program he'd written would link with the Sense/Net systems when Molly needed it to...
The Sense/Net ice had accepted his entry as a routine transfer from the consortium's Los Angeles complex. He was inside. Behind him, viral subprograms peeled off, meshing with the gate's code fabric, ready to deflect the real Los Angeles data when it arrived...
Nine Moderns, scattered along two hundred miles of the Sprawl, had simultaneously dialed MAX EMERG from pay phones. Each Modern delivered a short set speech, hung up, and drifted out into the night, peeling off surgical gloves. Nine different police departments and public security agencies were absorbing the information that an obscure subsect of militant Christian fundamentalists had just taken credit for having introduced clinical levels of an outlawed psychoactive agent known as Blue Nine into the ventilation system of the Sense/Net Pyramid. Blue Nine, known in California as Grievous Angel, had been shown to produce acute paranoia and homicidal psychosis in eighty-five percent of experimental subjects...
The Panther Moderns allowed four minutes for their first move to take effect, then injected a second carefully prepared dose of misinformation. This time, they shot it directly into the Sense/Net building's internal video system.
At 12:04:03, every screen in the building strobed for eighteen seconds in a frequency that produced seizures in a susceptible segment of Sense/Net employees...
At 12:05:00, the mirror-sheathed nexus of the Sense/Net consortium held just over three thousand employees. At five minutes after midnight, as the Moderns' message ended in a flare of white screen, the Sense/Net Pyramid screamed...
Smart buildings with interlinked systems will be the norm in coming years; hopefully, building security won't get lost due to competing standards - or a lack of awareness of how networked systems can be used against their owners. Read more at The Rise of Smart Buildings. See more technovelgy from Neuromancer; thanks to Roland for the tip on the story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/25/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.' - Murray Leinster, 1945.
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?' - Jane Webb Loudon, 1828.
Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PRAM Solar Powered Satellite Hardware Tested In Orbit
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun'
3D Printed Glass Uses Stereolithography Techniques
'All that with glass...'
Science Fiction Helps Young Readers Build Resiliency
'Reading science fiction and fantasy can help readers make sense of the world.'
I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
'Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'
Memes Now Come From Neural Nets
'Your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file...'
Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'
Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea
'On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks...'
Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
News Mood Filter Web Extension
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...'
MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
'INVESTIGATE MYSTERIOUS OBJECT ENTERING NEW CALEDONIA SYSTEM FROM NORMAL SPACE'
AutoX Sets Up Asia's Largest Robotaxi Center
'The robot cab seemed to know where it was going and, no doubt, the master machine from which it received its signals knew.'
E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'
Soft Robots Use Kirigami Piezoelectric Sensor Skin
'A worthy opponent was the golem.'
Bosch Smartglasses Laser Paints AR Image On Your Retina
'Soon we'll be testing a system that projects directly on the retina of the eye.'
Maybe We Could Hibernate Until The Covid-19 Pandemic's End
'Cold-rest was a common last resort therapy for functional psychoses.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories