Green Energy Leaves National Grid More Vulnerable to ‘Constant’ Cyber-Attacks

REUTERS/Luke Macgregor
REUTERS/Luke Macgregor

Attempts to ‘green’ the national grid are posing a security threat as they make the system more vulnerable to hacking, it has emerged. The revelation comes amid warnings that Britain’s National Grid is under constant attack by hackers. A Member of Parliament has warning that the attacks can’t be held off forever. (h/t Bishop Hill blog)

Security analysts have said that wind farms, solar panels and smart meters, all of which are designed to improve the green credentials of Britain’s National Grid, are making it more vulnerable to attack, as they all provide additional portals to be breached, Bloomberg has reported.

They quote an email from Slava Borilin, critical infrastructure business manager at Kaspersky, who says: “The energy grid today is vulnerable from all degrees. Its electricity production is under threat of interruption and down-time from breaches of industrial control systems.”

Last year James Arbuthnot, who at the time chaired the Defence Select Committee, told a conference: “Our National Grid is coming under cyber-attack not just day-by-day but minute-by-minute.

“There are, at National Grid, people of very high quality who recognize the risks that these attacks pose, and who are fighting them off, but we can’t expect them to win forever.”

On the 12 December last year the Cabinet Office announced that it would be increasing spending on its cyber-security program to £860 million, up from £650 million over four years planned in 2011.

Charlie Edwards, national security and resilience director at the Royal United Services Institute has said during an interview that threats to the grid have “probably gone from a low level to now taking up much of the time [of GCHQ]”, adding that energy companies face an “ongoing, constant, relentless war.”