Visible to the public Exploration of Smart Grid Device Cybersecurity Vulnerability Using Shodan

TitleExploration of Smart Grid Device Cybersecurity Vulnerability Using Shodan
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsAckley, Darryl, Yang, Hengzhao
Conference Name2020 IEEE Power Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)
Keywordscomposability, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Inverters, Metrics, power grid vulnerability, power grid vulnerability analysis, power inverter, pubcrawl, Resiliency, SCADA systems, shodan, Smart grid, Smart grids, smart meter, smart meters, Stability analysis, Text processing, Vulnerability
AbstractThe generation, transmission, distribution, and storage of electric power is becoming increasingly decentralized. Advances in Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are rapidly changing the nature of the power grid. Moreover, the accommodation of these new technologies by the legacy grid requires that an increasing number of devices be Internet connected so as to allow for sensor and actuator information to be collected, transmitted, and processed. With the wide adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of smart grid devices that can potentially affect the stability, reliability, and resilience of the power grid need to be carefully examined and addressed. This is especially true in situations in which smart grid devices are deployed with default configurations or without reasonable protections against malicious activities. While much work has been done to characterize the vulnerabilities associated with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Industrial Control System (ICS) devices, this paper demonstrates that similar vulnerabilities associated with the newer class of IoT smart grid devices are becoming a concern. Specifically, this paper first performs an evaluation of such devices using the Shodan platform and text processing techniques to analyze a potential vulnerability involving the lack of password protection. This work further explores several Shodan search terms that can be used to identify additional smart grid components that can be evaluated in terms of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Finally, this paper presents recommendations for the more secure deployment of such smart grid devices.
Citation Keyackley_exploration_2020