Friday, March 26, 2010

SCADA Watch: 'Smart' Meters Have Security Holes

An AP newswire article by Jordan Robertson, via, reports:

Computer-security researchers say new "smart" meters that are designed to help deliver electricity more efficiently also have flaws that could let hackers tamper with the power grid in previously impossible ways.

At the very least, the vulnerabilities open the door for attackers to jack up strangers' power bills. These flaws also could get hackers a key step closer to exploiting one of the most dangerous capabilities of the new technology, which is the ability to remotely turn someone else's power on and off.

The attacks could be pulled off by stealing meters — which can be situated outside of a home — and reprogramming them. Or an attacker could sit near a home or business and wirelessly hack the meter from a laptop, according to Joshua Wright, a senior security analyst with InGuardians Inc. The firm was hired by three utilities to study their smart meters' resistance to attack.

These utilities, which he would not name, have already done small deployments of smart meters and plan to roll the technology out to hundreds of thousands of power customers, Wright told The Associated Press.

There is no evidence the security flaws have been exploited, although Wright said a utility could have been hacked without knowing it. InGuardians said it is working with the utilities to fix the problems.

More here.


At Sat Mar 27, 01:56:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, but all I'm really interested in is how to block the wireless signals legally so they have to come to my house to read the meter (at least until I start seeing a discount on my bill for allowing them to use my airspace to save themselves money). Right now I've not seen a cent of discounts from these meters which obviously save the utilities money (or they wouldn't be deploying them).

Thanks, deregulation!


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