Cloud controlled solar panels pose a hacking risk

Installing solar panels on your home seems like a great way to save on the electricity bill, but it could also open your home up to hackers.

Researcher Frederic Bret-Mounet is sounding the alarm about solar’s potential pitfalls at the computer security industry’s top hacking conferences.

Bret-Mounet hacked his own solar panels, which allows homeowners to control and monitor the panels via the internet, using a simple computer attack.

The lack of basic security in the Tigo Energy-made solar panels could allow a hacker to both spy on or shut down the power supply of many homes.

“I could have installed spying software that would have had visibility into their home networks, seeing their emails and everything they did online,” Bret-Mounet told USA Today.

As solar energy continues to grow in California, “these lightly-protected systems could then be all too easily infiltrated, possibly with catastrophic effects on the state’s power grid,” Bret-Mounet said.

As more internet-connected devices enter the home, basic online security will be key. Kaspersky Lab, an international software security group, has five privacy and security tips to keep yourself safe online.