Saturday, June 20, 2009

Security Risks on the Smart Grid

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

As everyone knows I am a huge supporter of "Smart Technology" of all kinds including Smart Buildings, Smart Building Components and the Smart Grid. The article excerpted and linked below highlights some security risks that we all need to think through and take into account as advocates of these new tools.

"You might have read about how we're spending billions of dollars on a new electrical "smart grid" to make electrical distribution more efficient. A critical component of this grid is a new generation of "smart meters" which can communicate with the grid to determine when electricity is relatively scarce or plentiful.

Now a report in the Register describes how a researcher from security firm IOActive will demonstrate security flaws in these meters that could bring the grid down. Mike Davis, a senior security consultant for IOActive, says that the software in the vast majority of meters uses no encryption and requires no authentication before accepting commands to perform critical operations like updating their own software. Davis will demonstrate the flaws at the Black Hat security conference next month.

IOActive actually designed a smart meter bot which infects a large number of one manufacturer's meters. Once infected, they are open to outside commands to turn power on or off, reveal power usage or other sensitive settings."

Read the whole thing!

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