Messin' with Modbus

Purpose: Students will be introduced to a 30 minute overview of Industrial Control Systems complimented by an 30 introduction to the Modbus protocol.

Following the instructor-led training students will be provided a training station including a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and a digital handout with instructions on how to manipulate the PLC using Python Scripts. 10 PLC Stations will be provided.

Students who successfully complete the instructor-led training exercise will be granted remote access to an industrial cyber range located at Everett Community College.. These students will be encouraged to hack the range and watch their progress via a livestream.

Requirements: Students will need their own laptop to perform the training. A fundamental understanding of programming is recommended.

Video projection required for training and live-stream.

ICS Overview:

Will be delivered by Josephine Hollandbeck GCIH, GICSP. Sharing her perspective of a 5th year Inside Wireman Apprentice.


Understanding the inherent vulnerability of ICS and control systems ways that nonfunctional, or worse, pwned systems, can wreak havoc within critical infrastructure.

Comprehending the basic security principals in an environment where availability is always the first and sometimes only concern (ex: passwords written on post-it notes, USB ports left accessible, esp during construction phases) and how to train good (secure) habits through comprehension

Promotion of cross-sector familiarity between specialties, such as engineers lacking full understanding of a control system or networking principles, or operators lacking understanding of why using personal cell phone or laptop to check work email is a dangerous vulnerability, etc.

Flexibility: We are very open on how best to deliver this training to best meet the needs of the conference. We can boil it down to having open stations with a walkthrough available followed up with access to the industrial range upon completion.

Modbus Overview:

An introduction to the history and use of the protocol.

Breakdown of how the protocol communicates with industrial devices.

A demonstration of how this protocol can be exploited by manipulating the industrial cyber range located at Everett Community College.

Dennis Skarr

Tenured Faculty, Everett Community College

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