Blog / RSS Feeds

Well, who has RSS feeds? Here are some that may be prove to be useful:
Public Safety Canada (Cyber-Safety is part of Public Safety)
US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team)
Google News
Finding an RSS feed for a website you want to keep tabs on, may or may not be straightforward. Some sites display it prominently on the web page, others may require you to search around a bit. A Google Search that includes the site you are trying to monitor, plus ‘RSS feed’, should reveal if one is available. Something like “Google News RSS feeds” or “Public Safety Canada RSS feeds”. Play around a bit.

Why are RSS feeds useful?
I won’t lie, the shear amount of information out there is overwhelming. RSS feeds provide a method of categorizing that information and making it more manageable.

To give an example on how RSS feeds have helped me in my duty as the IT Security Officer at TRINUS, one of the feeds I monitor is from Public Safety Canada. A while back they issued a warning about some serious Security vulnerabilities in various Rockwell equipment. On a whim, I reached out to a Customer of ours in Northern rural Alberta and asked them if their Water Treatment plants had any Rockwell hardware. The answer I received was “Yup, we use Rockwell throughout all of them”. In response, I forwarded them the vulnerability information, so they could make plans to update and patch their equipment. Since TRINUS has multiple Customers with Water Treatment plants that possibly use Rockwell equipment, we sent out a warning about this ourselves. We felt it was that important.

If I hadn’t been monitoring that RSS feed, I wouldn’t have known about this potential Security Risk and our Customer wouldn’t have known either. If they hadn’t patched the equipment, then someone could have used those vulnerabilities to cause real harm. For example, what if the chemicals in the drinking water got improperly adjusted by an attacker, and it wasn’t noticed? That could result in multiple deaths.

So, today there are 2 takeaways:
i) Stay informed (as always)
ii) Even in rural Alberta, you need to take Cyber-Security seriously

Karl Buckley
Cyber Security Supervisor