Aerial view of a burned-out home destroyed by the Sept. 13, 2018 natural gas explosion in Merrimack Valley, Mass. In today’s columnist, Lesley Carhart of Dragos writes about how many in the cybersecurity community first thought this event was the result of a cyberattack. (NTSB photo, Creative Commons CC PDM 1.0)

On the afternoon of September 13, 2018, a series of natural gas explosions rocked homes in Merrimack Valley, Mass. For hours after this catastrophe, cybersecurity professionals and pundits spiraled through hushed, horrified speculation: was this the cyberattack they were fearing? The big one?

In reality, like many industrial catastrophes, these tragic explosions were caused by human error. There was no cyberattack – no intentional disaster. However, to many people working outside the industrial cybersecurity field, an intentional cyberattack seemed entirely plausible and terrifying.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.