A data security specialist has revealed a serious vulnerability in the solar panel system of electric power generation that could cause serious problems in the supply of electricity from various regions of Europe.
The complaint was made through the Dutch publication Volkskrant, which received the information from security specialist – also Dutch – Willem Westerhof. According to him, the problem would be located in a specific part of the solar panels, the inverter, which transforms the direct current generated by the alternating current.
The expert said that thousands of solar panels that work with Internet of Things can be accessed and have this vulnerability exploited by hackers. Having access to the inverter of the power generation devices, malicious intruders could activate them simultaneously, generating an overload in the power supply system that would tear down networks in many parts of Europe.
To get an idea of the size of the problem, it is worth remembering that in 2006, a high voltage line in Germany was disconnected and cities like Paris and Madrid spent hours without electricity.
This network dealt with about 5 gigawatts. Taking into account that the vulnerability discovered by Westerhof is responsible for about 15 gigawatts, the current problem may be three times worse than that of 11 years ago.
In addition to the publication made by the Dutch site, Willem Westerhof has put up a page explaining in detail the vulnerability and how it can affect the electricity supply in Europe. Called Horus Scenario, the site can be accessed by clicking on this link.