Cyberterror, electric grid experts available in advance of federal GridEx2 nation grid down exercise Nov. 13-14

November 11, 2013  

Experts List

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Thousands of federal government and electric utility employees will conduct a two-day exercise on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 13-14) to examine the impacts of, and possible responses to, a nationwide collapse of the electric grid due to cyberterror or other attacks.

As depicted in the recent National Geographic docudrama "American Blackout," such an occurrence could be devastating, with fatalities numbering in hundreds of thousands or more. Purdue University is home to several federally funded centers that have been addressing these problems for years. The experts are available to the media before and during the exercise.

Purdue Homeland Security Institute

Director Eric Dietz, professor of computer and information technology, was Indiana's founding executive director for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security for then Gov. Mitch Daniels. Today, the institute he directs is developing measures and optimization for various security systems, developing concepts for health response to disaster and improving energy security. The institute's smart grid initiative has trained thousands of students and practitioners who will improve our existing power grid to network renewable power to improve efficiency, durability and resilience to such attacks.


Purdue Cyberforensics Lab

Director Marcus Rogers, professor of computer and information technology, works with local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies, the intelligence community, and other industries to identify emerging threats, identify perpetrators and develop threat response. Rogers trains electric industry security officials on how to protect the grid from international criminals and terrorists.

Sam Liles, professor of computer and information technology, researches transnational cyber threats and conflict and computer forensics. Liles recently came to Purdue from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he taught similar courses to federal cyberwarriors.


Smart Grid

Chris Foreman, professor of electrical and computer engineering technology, researches power generations intelligent power grid systems. Foreman has worked with DHS on several funded projects for cybersecurity of industrial control systems in critical infrastructure, including the development of cybersecurity educational modules. Foreman previously worked in the electricity utility industry, including projects to ensure system security.


Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Director Eugene Spafford, professor of computer science, researches security policy, intrusion detection and response, security architecture, computer forensics, vulnerability analysis and counterintelligence/counterespionage. Spafford has served as a consultant for the White House, Pentagon and Congress. He was among the first researchers to identify and combat "The Worm" that incapacitated the nascent Internet in 1988.

All experts on this list are affiliated with CERIAS.

CERIAS website:

Note to Journalists: To access experts, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, 765-237-7296, Purdue has a professional TV studio connected to the world via satellite uplink and Vyvx. A professional ISDN studio provides clean audio options to radio journalists.

Writer: Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, 765-237-7296,

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