CISA warns against dangers of UPS devices

April 5, 2022

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Energy are aware of threat actors gaining access to a variety of internet-connected uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices, often through unchanged default usernames and passwords.

More on HPN

In recent years, UPS vendors have added an Internet of Things capability, and UPSs are routinely attached to networks for power monitoring, routine maintenance, and/or convenience. UPS devices provide clean and emergency power in a variety of applications when normal input power sources are lost. Loads for UPSs can range from small (e.g., a few servers) to large (e.g., a building) to massive (e.g., a data center). Various different groups within an organization could have responsibility for UPSs, including but not limited to IT, building operations, industrial maintenance, or even third-party contract monitoring service vendors.


  • Immediately enumerate all UPSs and similar systems and ensure they are not accessible from the internet. In the rare situation where a UPS device or similar system’s management interface must be accessible from the internet, ensure that compensating controls are in place, including:
  • Ensure the device or system is behind a virtual private network.
  • Enforce multifactor authentication.
  • Use strong, long passwords or passphrases in accordance with National Institute of Standard sand Technology guidelines (for a humorous explanation of password strength, see XKCD 936).
  • Check if your UPS’s username/password is still set to the factory default. If it is, update your UPS username/password so that it no longer matches the default. This ensures that going forward, threat actors cannot use their knowledge of default passwords to access your UPS. Your vendor may provide additional guidance on changing default credentials and/or additional recommended practices.
  • Ensure that credentials for all UPSs and similar systems adhere to strong password length requirements and adopt login timeout/lockout features.

AHA release