05 April 2010

"Smart Grid" An Open Door to Hacker Mischief

With the best of intentions, US residential, commercial, and industrial users of electric power are being pushed into an extremely vulnerable situation. With the installation of a "smart meter", your home immediately becomes vulnerable to a malicious hacking attack. Not only could your power be shut off by hackers, but your power use records could be manipulated at will.

Hacking the smart grid is a snap!
Once hackers have access to smart meter codes and programming, they can "talk" to all meters of the same brand over the network. In one simulation, Davis proved that malware set to self-replicate could shut down power for 15,000 homes in 24 hours.

The threat is not just to your home, or to 15,000 homes. The threat is to the entire grid, via self-propagating computer worms that could initiate a cascading power failure over large areas of North America.
Researchers have previously warned that allowing network access to the home opens up a host of security issues. Last year, security firm IOActive found flaws in a smart-meter device that allowed its researchers to insert code into one device and have it spread to others--essentially, injecting a computer worm into a local power network.

"If you could get that meter to talk to its neighbors and those to talk to their neighbors, you could conceptually tell them to turn off and cause a fairly broad power outage," Shaw says. _TR

Chinese spy-hackers have been busy at work, devising ways of breaking into the US power grid's most vulnerable points. The new "smart grid" will only make it easier for them to access every weak area.

Normally, a nation's government would not be so eager to make its citizens and economy so vulnerable to an overseas threat such as Chinese power-hackers. In the case of the Obama-Pelosi reich, however, one can never be sure of the underlying motive. We would like to think the best of our leaders, but the track record of Obama-Pelosi suggests that the current regime is not necessarily looking out for the best interests of North Americans without close O-P connections.

Cross-posted at Al Fin Energy

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My local utility has been pushing smart meters as a way to get more customers on time-of-use billing plans. As far as I know SRP is not rolling out those hideous meters that can switch off appliances at the whim of the utility.


SRP has also been rolling out smart meters for its customers who are required to buy their electricity in advance.


In both cases SRP is rolling out smart meters either to improves its cashflow, or in order to allow customers with bad credit to buy electricity.

I don't know why any business would voluntarily sign up to be an interruptible customer. During the California Power Crisis, one of the major nightly newscasts profiled one light manufacturer in California that was having its power cut off a couple times a week.

Tuesday, 06 April, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

You mean during the inconsequential California power pre-crisis? Because the real California power crisis is just getting ready to begin.

Wednesday, 07 April, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, during the crisis ten years ago. AZ almost ended up becoming a power farm for California, because so many investor groups were applying to set up gigawatt class power plants in order to export electricity west to California.

I personally don't relish the thought of California suffering, because if that state become unlivable many of California's Democratic voters may relocate here and they may not have learned anything in the process. This has already happened to the Scottsdale, AZ area, with large numbers of people relocating from the failed states of the North and then continuing to vote Democratic.

Scottsdale used to elect a conservative named JD Hayworth and in 2006 the district flipped to electing a Democrat. My own gut feeling is that the relocation of large numbers of people looking for work has changed the makeup of the city. This might seem like just any other loss, but the Scottsdale-Fountain Hills area has been the main center of AZ's upper class and has generate two Republican presidential candidates in the last 50 years (McCain & Goldwater).

Wednesday, 07 April, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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