Dutch solar panels vulnerable to hackers: cyber security expert

solar energy
. Solar Panels \ Wikipedia

Hackers can easily break into Dutch solar panels, which could put the European power supply at risk, according to cyber security investigator Willem Westerhof of ITsec in the Volkskrant.

According to Westerhof, the SMA transformers in many Dutch solar panels are poorly protected and have a "wide range of vulnerabilities". Users aren't prompted to change the default password. The transformers are vulnerable to force attacks. And the devices are secured by one super password of the supplier. If a hacker gets hold of that password, many problems can be caused. 

Due to these security vulnerabilities, hackers could disable transformers remotely, Westerhof said. Disabling multiple transformers at the same time could disrupt the power supply of millions of households, he said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs told NU.nl that they are in contact with Westerhof about his research and are looking into whether it is necessary to improve cyber security on solar panels. The Ministry is also in contact with grid operator Tennet about this. 

Tennet told the newspaper that they are prepared for extreme situations. 

Tags: