The Department of Homeland Security is quietly creating specialized teams of experts to test industrial control systems at U.S power plants for cybersecurity weaknesses. An August 4 Associate Press report indicated DHS has so far created four teams to conduct such assessments, according to the director of control system security. The official told the news service that 10 teams are expected to be in the field next year as the program’s annual budget grows from $10 million to $15 million. A DHS spokeswoman confirmed the DHS plan. She said the special teams are part of an Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS CERT) that DHS has been building over the past year in response to worldwide cybersecurity threats against industry control systems (ICS). The teams are being set up to help companies in critical infrastructure industries respond to and mitigate cyber incidents affecting ICS, she said. Each DHS team is said to be equipped with forensic tools, cables, converters and data-storage equipment to be used to probe for and fix security vulnerabilities in control systems. According to the report, the specialized DHS teams conducted 50 security assessments at power plants in the past year. In addition, teams were dispatched 13 times to investigate cyber incidents — nine were found to be cyber intrusions and four were caused by operator error.