Visible to the public "Electric Cars, Smart Refrigerators Pose Cyber Risk To US Utilities, GAO Finds"Conflict Detection Enabled

A report released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in March brings further attention to the increased vulnerability of the electrical grid to cyberattacks because of electric vehicles and internet-connected home appliances. Cybersecurity researchers have warned of the lack of security implemented for Internet of Things (IoT) devices for years. GAO highlights that these devices pose a significant threat to energy distribution systems, specifically parts of the electrical grid responsible for supplying electricity to homes and businesses. The problem stems from distribution utilities' limited visibility and influence on the use and security of these devices against cyberattacks as consumers are the ones that control them. Plans developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) to implement the national cybersecurity strategy for the electric grid do not fully address cyber risks facing the grid's distribution systems. The number of connected devices is a contributing factor to the problem. Researchers at Princeton University have found that it is possible to convert multiple heaters, air conditioners, and other energy-hungry devices into a botnet and use it to manipulate the power demand in the grid. This article continues to discuss key points highlighted by the March GAO report pertaining to cyber risks posed by electric cars and connected home appliances to US utilities, and notable cyberattacks on energy distribution systems that have led to power outages.

NextGov reports "Electric Cars, Smart Refrigerators Pose Cyber Risk To US Utilities, GAO Finds"