Hackers could wipe out electricity grids through taking advantage of flimsy security loopholes in solar panel equipment, a Dutch researcher has claimed. Seventeen vulnerabilities in inverters, used to convert electricity from solar panels, were discovered by Willem Westerhof. Through the loopholes, he suggests it is possible to hack devices and control the flow of electricity – putting power supplies in the hands of malicious attackers.Tests were carried out Norton Support Number on what Mr Westerhorf, a cyber security engineer in Amsterdam, says is the “most secure” brand of electric inverters, SMA. SMA responded in a statement saying the inverters not connected to the internet are secure and that only four of its models are insecure from vulnerabilities. “We already assessed the mentioned issues on a technical basis and [are working] intensively on the correction." Speaking to the BBC, Mr Westerhof said: "If an attacker does that on a large scale that has serious consequences for the power grid stability."
Electricity grids in Europe are intertwined as power is exchanged between countries across the continent. An attack on one part would result in a power cut in another. Mr Westerhof reportedly discovered the flaws doing his undergraduate thesis and publicised his research in a talk at a security conference in the Netherlands on Monday. As electricity grids rely on equipment shoring up a balance between supply and demand, hackers could overload the grid causing power outages across a whole network.
In July, hackers targeted Irish energy networks through malicious emails.
Software inside personalised emails to staff at the Electricity Supply Board intended to give hackers the ability to take out part of the electricity grid
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