• 02 JAN 17
    • 0

    The smart grid, smart meters, and the risk of cyber attacks

    As Australia hurriedly legislates to make the smart grid an essential part of the nation’s energy future, promoted by a large number of corporate vested interests, little or no concern is being given to a number of risks inherent in what is essentially a new and inadequately tested technology. I have primarily been writing about the health risks which, to date, absolutely no research has been done to quantify that risk. Although it has been claimed that no research is necessary because the exposure levels from smart meters are far below the standard limits, in reality it is because this type of research is seen as a Pandora’s Box for a rapid global roll-out of the technology.

    However, all that aside, another emerging risk not yet adequately addressed is the overall smart grid’s exposure to cyber attacks through cloud data storage and smart meters, as the following report examines.


    An Emerging US (and World) Threat: Cities Wide Open to Cyber Attacks
    Cesar Cerrudo (@cesarcer) Chief Technology Officer, IOActive Labs (2015)

    Cities around the world are becoming increasingly smart, which creates huge attack surfaces for potential cyber attacks. In this paper, IOActive Labs CTO Cesar Cerrudo provides an overview of current cyber security problems affecting cities as well real threats and possible cyber attacks that could have a huge impact on cities. Cities must take defensive steps now, and Cesar offers recommendations to help them get started.

    Smart Grid Energy is the life line of a city; without energy there is no smart city. Last year, researchers Alberto Garcia Illera and Javier Vazquez Vidal at Black Hat Europe demonstrated it was possible to black out big city areas by manipulating smart meters exploiting encryption problems in Power-line Communication (PLC) technologies.

    This is not new; years ago Mike Davis of IOActive created the first proof-of-concept worm for the smart grid. Attacks on a smart grid could be devastating, causing millions of dollars in losses and even loss of life.

    Read the full report here


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