SCADA in Sweden!? Little Bobby Goes to 4SICS

Little Bobby Goes to 4SICS!

The 4SICS conference is an industrial control system (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) cyber security conference held in Stockholm, Sweden. Robert Malmgren and Erik Johansson have put together this conference, now in its second year, and it’s already well known in the community. The lineup this year is outstanding (and I’m not biased because I’m speaking but instead because of how many friends and industry peers will also be speaking on exciting topics). And of course – Little Bobby will be attending.

Jeff and I allow sponsorship of the comics every now and then from organizations and events that share our focuses. Mainly, the education of the community with a strong focus on humor and creativity. Sponsorship money goes directly to Jeff, who is trying to make being an artist his full time job, to create more beautiful comics. Robert and Erik reached out wanting to sponsor Little Bobby throughout the month of October for the 4SICS conference. With October as cyber security awareness month and with the 4SICS conference happening this month it was a perfect opportunity and timing.

So, for each week in October expect a 4SICS themed comic detailing Little Bobby’s adventures at the conference. We are excited to partner with 4SICS and promote the importance of ICS security – especially with children book themed comics reminding each of us that we are never experts, only lifelong learners.

See ya’ll in Sweden!

Little Bobby is Going to Black Hat and DEF CON

This year Little Bobby will be taking part in Black Hat and DEF CON. Some Little Bobby artwork will be in the presentation Switches Get Stitches and even more will be at the ICS Village. If you are unfamiliar with the ICS Village but are attending DEF CON or Black Hat you must visit it. It’s a great opportunity to meet some passionate folks who are hyped up to teach you about control systems, discuss their security and insecurity, and try to foster discussions for more secure infrastructure. In honor of this, the next couple of weeks on the Little Bobby Comic will be ICS Village themed. The comic strips run here will also be on display as posters in the ICS Village so feel free to stop by, come learn about control systems, and hang out with some wonderful people.

Introducing the First Story Arc – Encryption and Me

Story Arcs are a series of Little Bobby comics that go together sequentially to form a short story. They will sometimes be the lead in to launch a new book and sometimes, like this first Story Arc, they will be a complete story that attempts to take a on an issue that needs more than a comic or two to explain appropriately.

The first Little Bobby Story Arc will be titled “Encryption and Me” and contain six comics that will be released once a Sunday starting this week. Why is Little Bobby tackling encryption? Because it is an important aspect of the modern world that is often misunderstood by the masses. So misunderstood in fact that some blatantly wrong narratives are being told about encryption by some individuals that have the national spotlight in what appears to be a gross misunderstanding or a concerted effort to advance an agenda. It may be well intentioned but it is based on inaccuracies. For example, some individuals have talked about “backdoors” into encryption or “good guy backdoors” which are ultimately different ways to lessen how bad the truth sounds – an effort to undermine encryption. The debate on security vs. privacy will continue but it must be based on facts and evidence, not attempts to confuse people using highly technical concepts. Little Bobby is not a character that will ever take on political agendas but he is a character that is constantly interested in the world around him. I truly hope no one reads this Story Arc in an attempt to become well educated on encryption – this should not be the only source of someone’s education on the current encryption debate. Instead, this is an attempt to interest others to look at the topic while taking a lighthearted look at the issue that can only be done with child like wonder and humor – a perfect setting for a comic strip.

Hello World

Today is the official launch of Little Bobby. It’s exciting to be able to continue the fun from SCADA and Me in this new endeavor with illustrator Jeff Haas. The reception to SCADA and Me was truly shocking for us especially given that the origin of the book was one of equal parts education and laughing off frustrations. We hope to be able to recapture what many loved in that book while opening up Little Bobby to more adventures as he explores topics such as Net Neutrality, Data Privacy, the Cloud, and of course SCADA. If it’s a buzzword, a complex technical subject, or the center of a security debate it’s likely that Little Bobby will attempt to learn more about it and Jeff and I will be here to share the adventure.

Growing up it was always exciting to me to read new comics on Sunday morning. It was nice to read something lighthearted and fun to start off the day and it was always fun when there were inside jokes or witty lines that added a good laugh. In that spirit and in the hopes to interest people in a variety of technical and security related topics, we will be posting a new comic on the website and its Twitter every Sunday morning. Our attempt is not to be an expert in every field or to pretend to be a comic that can teach people all they need to know about these subjects. In truth, if all you learn about a topic is from a comic its best not to discuss that openly. But instead, hopefully Jeff and I can interest people in new topics and debates they may not have been exposed to, help simplify some complex fields, and ultimately provide a few laughs to everyone – especially those in the various communities that might feel a bit of frustration with the media and industry hype that sometimes surrounds these areas. Thank you for taking part in our journey and in the adventures of Little Bobby.