The safety and security of software used in solar panels is an important consideration, particularly as more advanced technology is integrated into these systems.To see important ads, turn off your ad blocker! Article continued below:
Solar panel systems typically consist of hardware components, such as the panels themselves, inverters, and monitoring systems, as well as software that manages and monitors the system’s performance.
Solar panel, but mistakes happen in life.
The devices, sold by Osaka, Japan-based Contec under the brand name SolarView, help people inside solar facilities monitor the amount of power they generate, store, and distribute.
Contec says that roughly 30,000 power stations have introduced the devices, which come in various packages based on the size of the operation and the type of equipment it uses.
Searches on Shodan indicate that more than 600 of them are reachable on the open Internet.
As problematic as that configuration is, researchers from security firm VulnCheck said, more than two-thirds of them have yet to install an update that patches CVE-2022-29303.
The tracking designation for a vulnerability with a severity rating of 9.8 out of 10.
The flaw stems from the failure to neutralize potentially malicious elements included in user-supplied input, leading to remote attacks that execute malicious commands.
Security firm Palo Alto Networks said last month the flaw was under active exploit by an operator of Mirai, an open source botnet consisting of routers and other so-called Internet of Things devices.
The compromise of these devices could cause facilities that use them to lose visibility into their operations, which could result in serious consequences depending on where the vulnerable devices are used.
The fact that a number of these systems are Internet facing and that the public exploits have been available long enough to get rolled into a Mirai-variant is not a good situation.
As always, organizations should be mindful of which systems appear in their public IP space and track public exploits for systems that they rely on. Although there are no known reports of it being actively exploited, exploit code has been publicly available since February.
Both vulnerabilities indicate that SolarView versions 8.00 and 8.10 are patched against CVE-2022-29303 and CVE-2023-293333. In fact, the researcher said, only 8.10 is patched against the threats.
The exploit activity for CVE-2022-29303 is part of a broad campaign that exploited 22 vulnerabilities in a range of IoT devices in an attempt to spread a Marai variant.
The attacks started in March and attempted to use the exploits to install a shell interface that allows devices to be controlled remotely.
Once exploited, a device downloads and executes the bot clients that are written for various Linux architectures.
There are indications that the vulnerability was possibly being targeted even earlier. Exploit code has been available since May 2022. There’s no guidance on the Contec website about either vulnerability and company representatives didn’t immediately respond to emailed questions.
Solar panel, what you need to do to feel safe.
The software used in solar panels often communicates with monitoring systems or smart home networks. It is crucial to implement secure communication protocols, such as encrypted data transmission (e.g., HTTPS) and secure authentication mechanisms (e.g., strong passwords, two-factor authentication) to prevent unauthorized access or interception of data.
Firmware and Software Updates.
Solar panel manufacturers may release firmware or software updates to address security vulnerabilities or improve system performance. It’s essential to regularly update the software components of the system to benefit from the latest security patches and enhancements.
Solar panel systems should have proper access controls to limit who can modify the system’s settings or access sensitive information. User roles and permissions should be implemented to ensure that only authorized individuals can make changes or access certain functionalities.
Solar panel and Network Security.
Solar panel systems often connect to local networks or the internet for monitoring and data transmission purposes. Employing standard security practices like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and secure Wi-Fi networks can help protect against unauthorized access to the system.
Encryption and Data Protection.
It is essential to ensure that sensitive data, such as system performance data or user information, is stored and transmitted securely.
Encryption methods, both for data at rest and data in transit, should be implemented to safeguard against unauthorized access or data breaches.
Solar panel and Regular Security Audits.
Manufacturers should conduct regular security audits and assessments of their solar panel software to identify potential vulnerabilities and mitigate them in a timely manner. Independent third-party audits can also provide an additional layer of assurance.
Industry Standards and Certifications.
Manufacturers may adhere to industry standards and certifications, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards or the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) guidelines, to ensure their software and hardware meet specific security requirements.
While these measures contribute to the safety and security of solar panel software, it’s important to recognize that no system is entirely immune to hacking or cyber threats.
As technology evolves, it’s crucial for manufacturers to stay vigilant and adapt their security practices to counter emerging threats.
Users should also remain informed about the latest security recommendations and updates provided by the manufacturer to maintain a secure solar panel system.
All The Best!