Evil armies of internet-connected EV chargers, ovens, hot-water heaters, air-conditioners, and other high-wattage appliances could be hijacked to slightly manipulate energy demand.
Evil armies of internet-connected EV chargers, ovens, hot-water heaters, air-conditioners, and other high-wattage appliances could be hijacked to slightly manipulate energy demand, potentially driving price swings and creating financial damage to deregulated energy markets, warns a new report scheduled to be presented Aug. 5 at the Black Hat USA 2020 conference.
By turning the compromised equipment on or off to artificially increase or decrease power demand, botnets made up of these energy-consuming devices might help an unscrupulous energy supplier or retailer (electric utility) alter prices to create a business advantage, or give a nation-state a way to remotely harm the economy of another country by causing financial damage to its electricity market. If done within the bounds of normal power demand variation, such an attack would be difficult to detect, the researchers said.
“If an attacker can slightly affect electricity market prices in their favor, it would be like knowing today what’s going to happen in tomorrow’s stock market,” said Tohid Shekari, a graduate research assistant in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “If the manipulation stays within a certain range, it would be stealthy and difficult to differentiate from a typical load forecasting error.”
Continue reading at Georgia Tech.
Image via John Toon.