Monday, April 05, 2010

Smart Grid Opens the Door to Hacker Attacks

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 to Al Fin



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