Security researchers highlight vulnerability of solar inverters

john rambo

Cyber-physical systems security researchers at the University of California, Irvine can disrupt the functioning of a power grid using about $50 worth of equipment tucked inside a disposable coffee cup.

In a presentation delivered at the recent Usenix Security 2020 conference, Mohammad Al Faruque, UCI associate professor of electrical engineering & computer science, and his team revealed that the spoofing mechanism can generate a 32 percent change in output voltage, a 200 percent increase in low-frequency harmonics power and a 250 percent boost in real power from a solar inverter.

Al Faruque’s group in UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering have made a habit in recent years of finding exploitable loopholes in systems that combine computer hardware and software with machines and other infrastructure. In addition to heightening awareness about these vulnerabilities, they invent new technologies that are better shielded against attacks.

For this project, Al Faruque and his team

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