Diggin' technology every day

July 28, 2010

Vulnerable Smart grid (again)

Filed under: Security — Nate @ 8:09 am

A while back I wrote an entry about the vulnerable smart grid, nothing has changed of course but there is a new article from The Register touting a new report that once again warns about security issues with the smart grid.


However, Ross Anderson, professor in security engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, warns that the move to smart metering introduces a “strategic vulnerability” that hackers might conceivable be exploit to remotely switch off elements on the gas or electricity supply grid.


The rollout of an estimated 47 million smart meters to each of the UK’s 26 million homes by 2020 is estimated at costing around £8bn.

The only issue with the statement I have is the word might. Given the maturity of organized computer criminals out there whether they are individuals, organizations or backed by governments you know they will exploit this stuff it’s only a matter of time, and I think the time required is not much more time than it will take to deploy the smart grid itself. The only question is how much damage can they do, could they go so far as to disable the power grid and brick the smart grid devices themselves forcing a wholesale replacement? That is probably a worst case thing.

This is what happens when people who don’t know much of anything about technology are put in charge of using it. It’s a pretty scary thought, given the scale of these smart grid deployments and the amount of hype surrounding them.

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