Better Thermostat Passwords May Deter Cyber Attacks on Grid

(Bloomberg) -- A key to preventing cyber attacks from crippling U.S. power grids could be changing passwords on Internet routers, wifi-connected thermostats and smart lawn-sprinklers.

“A significant share” of Internet attacks result from unchanged factory default passwords on web-connected devices that allow hackers to break in and and install malware, according to a Jan. 18 report by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

The institute, which pushes to make energy systems more secure, says manufacturers should program devices them so people are forced to change default passwords when they connect to the grid. Utilities also could deter attacks by requiring and issuing software keys to protect connected device.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.