Water Heater Hacks

When we talk about cybersecurity doomsday scenarios, bad guys breaking into the brain of the electrical grid (think Luke Skywalker targeting the reactor core of the Death Star) is usually near the top of the list. In reality, researchers have painted a much less sophisticated scenario for taking down the grid. Experts have estimated that hackers using botnets to commandeer just 1% of smart devices connected to the grid — water heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. — could cause cascading outages and potentially  crash the grid. This study once again highlights for us the importance of thinking long and hard about IoT security as we continue to work to secure the bigger picture of utilities and infrastructure.