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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Electric Power Grids

Critical Flaws Found in Solar Panels Could Shut Down Power Grids

Critical Flaws Found in Solar Panels Could Shut Down Power Grids

August 08, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A Dutch security researcher has uncovered a slew of security vulnerabilities in an essential component of solar panels which could be exploited to cause widespread outages in European power grids. Willem Westerhof, a cybersecurity researcher at Dutch security firm ITsec, discovered 21 security vulnerabilities in the Internet-connected inverters – an essential component of solar panel that turns direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). According to Westerhof, the vulnerabilities leave thousands of Internet-connected power inverters installed across Europe vulnerable. Westerhof demonstrates that it is possible for hackers to gain control of a large number of inverters and switch them OFF simultaneously, causing an imbalance in the power grid that could result in power outages in different parts of Europe. The vulnerabilities affect solar panel electricity systems, also known as photovoltaics (PV), made by German solar equipment company SMA, which if exploited in mass
Dangerous Malware Discovered that Can Take Down Electric Power Grids

Dangerous Malware Discovered that Can Take Down Electric Power Grids

June 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last December, a cyber attack on Ukrainian Electric power grid caused the power outage in the northern part of Kiev — the country's capital — and surrounding areas, causing a blackout for tens of thousands of citizens for an hour and fifteen minutes around midnight. Now, security researchers have discovered the culprit behind those cyber attacks on the Ukrainian industrial control systems. Slovakia-based security software maker ESET and US critical infrastructure security firm Dragos Inc. say they have discovered a new dangerous piece of malware in the wild that targets critical industrial control systems and is capable of causing blackouts. Dubbed " Industroyer " or " CrashOverRide ," the grid-sabotaging malware was likely to be used in the December 2016 cyber attack against Ukrainian electric utility Ukrenergo , which the security firms say represents a dangerous advancement in critical infrastructure hacking. According to the researchers, CrashO
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