Cyber Attacks Against Solar Energy Systems

23 Jul 2020 Comments: 0 Views: 
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SR Editor
Posted by SR Editor
A Quick Question: To any country that wants to run ALL of their energy using solar power. What will you do the next time there is a solar eclipse if there is no back up power system?

Here is another reason NOT to install Solar Farms near residential neighborhoods.

In May of 2019 the First US Cyber Attack Against a Solar and Wind Energy Company took place in Utah.

It turns out that some components used to monitor and control the systems, including converting the electricity over from DC voltage to AC voltage, can be controlled via the Internet.

In this day and age, all of us know about computer viruses and some of us even have a bit of knowledge concerning hacking and Botnets.

Well, it turns out that in California, there have been solar panels installed that contained “open WIFI access points” found on the Management Units (MMU), allowing anyone within range to connect to the network.

Other problems that were discovered involved access that would allow individuals to “ make configuration changes that would alter maximum tolerances and limits, or even shut down systems.

Could some of those changes potentially cause the system to overheat and cause a short and even a fire?

In another case, a researcher from Germany found 21 security flaws in solar power systems. Some of them were within the power inverters that feed the local energy into the national grid. These flaws could also be exploited by accessing an internet facing inverter from the other side of the world allowing someone to control the amount of energy going through an electric grid and even shutting it down.

In 2006, a 5 gigawatt shortage in Germany caused left then 10 million people in the dark across Europe, including Paris and Madrid having to spend hours without power.

These current security flaws could cause a 17 gigawatt shortage if hackers take controal of a large number of inverters and switch them off simultaneously.

If you have any information relating to other solar or wind sites discovering security flaws, please share that information with our group.
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