17 Apr 2021 New Wind Energy Blowing Up Cybersecurity Threats
With the Biden Administration announcing its intention to increase the dependence of the American energy grid on renewable sources such as wind, it may also be increasing the threat of cyberattacks on infrastructure by random hackers and hostile governments such as Communist China.
In a commentary for The Epoch Times, National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. notes that newly announced wind farm expansions could “further complicate cybersecurity concerns that are already being raised about wind power.”
“The more wind installations that come into service, the more cybersecurity challenges their integrated control systems and related technologies will pose,” he explains. “For cyber criminals/terrorists, wind power – whether offshore or land-based – makes for an inviting target.”
A July 2020 study issued by the U.S. Department of Energy found “significant cybersecurity concerns” related to wind energy. It reported that cyberattacks have already occurred. What’s worse, there is no uniform strategy to protect against such attacks.
Cyberattackers generally exploit previously known vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities of wind-energy equipment are well known among bad actors, as their repeated attacks attest. While cybersecurity is a concern to all energy producers connected to the grid, the Biden Administration’s plans to expand wind power – offshore and on land – entail risks that the public may not fully appreciate.
As tensions rise between the United States and China, a growing Chinese presence in the wind power industry could end up becoming a national cybersecurity threat.
“Whether carrying out cyberattacks from afar or spying from up-close, America’s adversaries have a lot to gain from the expansion of wind power,” Bonner concludes.
To read all of Bonner’s commentary – “Cybersecurity of Wind Power a Growing Concern” – at the website of The Epoch Times, click here.