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High-Wattage IoT Botnets Can Manipulate Energy Market


Just Hatched
Jan 28, 2020
A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has demonstrated how, in theory, a malicious actor could manipulate the energy market using a botnet powered by high-wattage IoT devices.

Most botnets are powered by devices such as routers, cameras and DVRs. However, researchers from Princeton University warned a few years ago that threat actors looking to cause disruption to an energy grid could create a botnet of high-wattage devices, such as internet-connected ovens, air conditioners, and water and space heaters, which use 1-5 kilowatts of power.

The botnet described by the Princeton researchers, named BlackIoT (MadIoT), focused on causing disruptions, including local outages and large-scale blackouts, by simultaneously switching on and off the compromised high-wattage devices. However, the attack might not always be successful in practice, especially when the power grid protection mechanisms respond effectively to the shock caused by the botnet.

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