Bloomberg: Hackers Find Open Back Door to Power Grid With Renewables
Indeed, with the power grid being fed by many instead just a few sources, and some of these transporting data all along, the grid is not so much a power transport network anymore, but much more of a hybrid between utility and telecommunications.
Obviously, the tricks of the trade are applicable to unsuspecting victims, who have just about understiood it is useful to have their Windows XP computer equipped with an antivirus and since nothing has really mattered to them.
This is because, many of the sources are actually early adopters of green technology like photovoltaic systems on their roofs – but not necessarily IT enabled users. Neither are the systems managing these infrastructures safe in any shape – too many stakeholders and no one to take responsibility of the safety in the Information Security sense of the technology. And last but not least, the networks transporting pretty private data of the residential providers of green energy aren’t safe either, nor would the data in transit be protected enough, leave alone from those, interested in generating “big data” from these providers (e.g.: when is the washing, AC, hoover, computer started and how long did it run, what are the concurrent usages with TV, which time of day is which appliance in use…) No question, that all this data can assist in generating a reliable price-distribution-function that is useful for contingency planning. On the other hand, it is private and the users may or may not consent in it being known to some third party.
So, whither then? Bloomberg lists a couple of fairly uncomfortable facts, a good read.