RESEARCHERS FOUND THEY COULD HACK ENTIRE WIND FARMS

RESEARCHERS FOUND THEY COULD HACK ENTIRE WIND FARMS

By | July 2nd, 2017
No Comments on RESEARCHERS FOUND THEY COULD HACK ENTIRE WIND FARMS

For the past two years, Staggs and his fellow researchers at the University

of Tulsa have been systematically hacking wind farms around the United

States to demonstrate the little-known digital vulnerabilities of an

increasingly popular form of American energy production. With the

permission of wind energy companies.


														
							

Jason Staggs, a tall 28-year-old Oklahoman, quickly unplugged a network cable and inserted it into a Raspberry Pi minicomputer, the size of a deck of cards, that had been fitted with a Wi-Fi antenna. He switched on the Pi and attached another Ethernet cable from the minicomputer into an open port on a programmable automation controller, a microwave-sized computer that controlled the turbine. The two men then closed the door behind them and walked back to the white van they’d driven down a gravel path that ran through the field.

Staggs sat in the front seat and opened a MacBook Pro while the researchers looked up at the towering machine. Like the dozens of other turbines in the field, its white blades—each longer than a wing of a Boeing 747—turned hypnotically. Staggs typed into his laptop’s command line and soon saw a list of IP addresses representing every networked turbine in the field. A few minutes later he typed another command, and the hackers watched as the single turbine above them emitted a muted screech like the brakes of an aging 18-wheel truck, slowed, and came to a stop.

Read more

Google
Nisheeth Bhakuni