As the popularity of home solar panels continues to surge, hackers have set their sights on a new target. Just as they've targeted internet-connected smart thermostats in the past to manipulate indoor temperatures for ransom, the spotlight is now on domestic photovoltaic solar power systems, also linked to the internet.
Potential Risks and Vulnerabilities
According to reports from Bleeping Computer, attackers have successfully infiltrated these solar systems, granting them control over various functions. This newfound access provides them leverage to demand ransom from homeowners, creating a new avenue for cyber extortion.
The consequences for homeowners could be significant. Hackers could remotely shut down a home’s photovoltaic power supply, cutting off the flow of electricity to appliances or grid sales. Moreover, they might tamper with battery management, depleting it rapidly and causing accelerated degradation.
Understanding the Cyber Risks with Home Solar Panels
Worried about potential vulnerabilities? Cybersecurity experts emphasize the importance of robust protection, starting with a strong password of at least 18 characters. Regularly changing this password, especially after initial installation, is vital as default “factory” passwords are often left by installers.
Steer clear of using easily guessable passwords. Avoid common patterns or sequences, which could be exploited by hackers. While hackers presently focus on extortion attempts, it’s not far-fetched to imagine more severe consequences in the future, particularly for larger commercial solar arrays. However, for now, homeowners with solar systems up to 10 kWp on their roofs appear to be at a lower risk.
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