March 11, 2014
Colloquium Speaker: Ralph Langner
Ralph Langner is a German control system security consultant, who has received worldwide recognition for his analysis of the Stuxnet Malware and is considered a leading global expert on cyber defense. He heads the U.S. based Langner Group in Arlington, Virginia, an independent cyber-security firm that specializes in control systems. He also founded the Langner Group’s European sister company, Langner Communications, in 1988. In his consulting business, Langner accumulated 25 years of hands-on field experience in the cyber security issues of power plants, water treatment facilities, nuclear facilities, food and beverage plants, automotive factories, steel mills, and many more. Langner is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences on cyber security, national security, and critical infrastructure protection.
By invitation, Langner has shared his insight with NATO, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE), the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the White House. Langner also serves as a nonresident fellow with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.
Control systems are electronic devices that monitor and regulate other devices, such as manufacturing equipment. These devices' deep connection to the infrastructure that runs our cities and countries has made them, increasingly, the targets of an emerging, highly sophisticated type of cyber-warfare. And since 2010, when the Stuxnet computer worm first reared its head, Langner has stood squarely in the middle of the battlefield. As part of a global effort to decode the mysterious program, Langner and his team analyzed Stuxnet's data structures, and revealed what he believes to be its ultimate intent: the control system software known to run centrifuges in nuclear facilities -- specifically, facilities in Iran. Further analysis by Langner uncovered what seem to be Stuxnet's shocking origins.