Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ignition 7.3 Beta available

Ignition 7.3 represents a major version increase for the Vision module and may significant changes for the others. If you've never beta tested Inductive Automation software you'll have to request access to the beta forum here.  I must say, it's fun to play with the new vector drawing capabilities.
  • Drawing tools added for vector graphics.
  • Zooming in the Designer.
  • Better grouping support for components and shapes.
  • New Symbol Factory module.
  • More efficient serialization format for windows.
  • Better color-choosing UI.
  • Internationalization in Gateway/Designer.
  • New compression algorithm for analog SQLHistorian tags.
  • New ability for SQLHistorian to create preprocessed history tables for better query performance over long time spans.
  • New query cache in the client to avoid unnecessary repeated querying of the same time span.
  • Data density histogram on the Easy Chart for SQLHistorian pens.
  • Improved memory usage for SQLTags in the Gateway.
  • Automatic SQLTag creation when dragging and dropping OPC items.
  • Improved performance and scan class settings for SQLTags (one-shot, triggered on-change, subscribed vs polled).
  • Improved memory usage for ControlLogix driver.
  • Improved performance and stability for all drivers.
  • Improved installer allows choosing individual modules on install and upgrade.
  • New graphical and command-line installer for Linux.
  • Ignition installation directory structure changed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ignition security advisory

An independent researcher from Reverse Mode disclosed a vulnerability in Ignition from Inductive Automation. Fixes are implemented in version and above. This finding and fix was published by the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). The fix - install the latest version of Ignition.

It's a good idea for software companies to be transparent about releasing and fixing their vulnerabilities. Remember to keep up to date with the latest version of your software! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Interesting article - #1 ICS and SCADA Security Myth: Protection by Air Gap

Eric Byers of Tofino Security (they do SCADA security research and have a security appliance) discusses the concept of relying on air-gapping control networks for security. In a nutshell, a modern control network is unlikely to remain physically separated. Even if it is, malware can be introduced via removable media and the system is hard to keep updated and vulnerable to local (insider) attacks.

A system should be designed with security in mind and kept up to date.

Interesting article - The Ultimate HMI

This Control Global article, The Ultimate HMI, provides interesting tips about HMI screen creation. I especially like the comments and examples of the best visual status indications containing: text, shape, and color.