More and more cryptocurrency mining initiatives are focusing their attention on using hydroelectric power. However, several of these plants around the world are connected to the public Internet. Anyone in the world can access these unauthenticated management interfaces. Assailants could inflict a lot of damage against Bitcoin mining operations by attacking the hydroelectric plants.
Hydroelectric Plants Need Better Protection
There are many critical infrastructure elements connected to the public Internet, even though there is no reason for them to be in this state. A study by Internet Wache of Berlin showed how over 100 systems could be accessed through unauthenticated login portals. Although all of the system operators have been informed regarding this threat, some of these warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
Interestingly enough, several hydroelectric power plants are on this list of accessible systems, albeit they are located in Germany and Italy. This may not impact Bitcoin mining operations in a significant manner, but it still a troublesome development. Accessing web applications controlling processes in these plants is certainly possible, even for those who have little special knowledge about how the plants operate.