Skip to comments.100% Certainty of Total Catastrophic Failure of Entire Power Infrastructure Within 3 Years
Posted on 04/26/2012 10:36:42 AM PDT by Kartographer
As smart grid metering systems expand across the developed world, many are starting to ask whether the threats posed by the new devices, which officials promise will save energy and reduce end user utility costs, outweigh their benefits. In addition to documented health concerns resulting from radiation emissions and no cost savings being apparent, opponents of the technology argue that smart meters are violative of basic privacy rights and give the government yet another digital node of unfettered access to monitor and control personal electricity consumption.
Now, an alarming new documentary suggests that security problems with the inter-connected and seemingly convenient smart grid may be so serious that they could lead to a catastrophic failure of our nations entire power infrastructure.
In an interview for the upcoming documentary titled Take Back Your Power, Cyber defense expert David Chalk warns that our nation is in crisis. Not only are our smart power grids susceptible to hacking, but they may very well already be infected with Trojan viruses and back doors that will ultimately lead to disastrous consequences:
(Excerpt) Read more at nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com ...
Could I get on your ping list?
The damn sky is ffffalling too; wear a hardhat when you go outdoors!
I have a number of alternatives to getting juice from the usual outlets.
Sounds like “Marketing Your Documentary 101”.
Similar lesson to “Teasing your Local Newscast 101” — “It could be deadly, and it may be on your dinner table. News at 10.”
So are you saying there is any way a hacker or hackers could take down a smart grid?
How? Wait for a Sunny and hot day. Shut down Smart Grid compliant AC units - then turn them all back on, at the same time. This will cause a "Brown-out", cascade the "Brown Out" across numerous nodes, such that any attempts to over-come the power surge are met with minimal power - this then becomes a "Cascading Power Failure".
It's what I would do, if I wanted to attack an infrastructure. However, this is an overt 'Act of War', but with Zero in charge - I suspect a mild written rebuke would be called for, and possibly followed by 20+ more slightly stronger worded rebukes.
But think of how much less coal we’ll burn when the grid goes down. /s
Since I work in the industry providing automation solutions to companies such as these I think I may be able to help reassure those that still at least have one foot on the ground.
Many of the companies that provide electricity to the grid are not running windows to power their systems, they are still running everything on UNIX. They simply cannot upgrade because they have a 100% up-time requirement.
Those that are running on Windows based systems are under a very rigid security requirement from the government. These security requirements are mandated, they have no choice. Even the USB slots on these machines are blocked out from use.
Such systems are NEVER on the greater internet. They are on a localized intranet and not accessible from the outside world. Someone would have to get in on the inside AND have administrator privs to infect anything.
So what is at risk? Perhaps 1% of the systems and thus the grid.
My electric company has been pushing the Smart Meter BS for a couple of years now. They were even offerring discounts for those households that signed up (or tax penalties for those who didn’t, depending on your point of view). I never signed on.
Got a letter from them yesterday that I am getting a Smart Meter whether I want one or not! So much for freedom of choice!
I’m not familiar enough with the smart meters to judge them one way or another but I would assume that they are heavily fire walled and tamper proof. Otherwise and Joe could open one up and tinker with it to skew the numbers.
I’m glad I don’t have one. If they force one on me it will simply run into a series of unfortunate accidents until I can go completely solar (but still on the grid) and then it won’t matter.
Are you saying that they are running on 40 year old hardware and software that has NEVER been down for maintainence or upgrades?
100% Certainty? Really?
I don’t have 100% Certainty that I’m going to take my next breat
For the most part, yes but maybe closer to 20 years. These are newer UNIX machines and they can get software upgrades.
Swapping out the entire system for an entire infrastructure upgrade? Not happening.
Are you saying that there is a 100% Certainty of Total Catastrophic Failure of Entire Power Infrastructure Within 3 Years?
Ever time someone tells something is fool proof
Did you know this month is the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic sinking
I'm calling BS on this. No computer can have guaranteed 100% up time, I don't care how "critical" it is.
I've worked on high availability systems. Regular, rigorous, preventive system maintenance is an absolute part of a system like this. This is accomplished by having dual systems, shared, redundant, network attached data systems, etc.
Part of a system like this can be taken off line (and shutdown if necessary) for maintenance without affecting the rest of the system. "100% uptime" is a myth.
Anything connected to this smartGrid crap would be at risk.
I just got my notice. If I opt out, I'll have to pay an opt-out fee of $75 and then an increase of $10 a month on my bill (to cover the cost of an actual meter reader). The clerk/agent/whatever I spoke with seemed quite unsure that the $10 additional would stay $10 for even a year.
This is important info.
People need to know.
Let’s see. The electric company came out and installed one against my protest. A few says later my whole house electricity blew and I had to pay a thousand dollars to fix it So much smart meters.
The electric company forced me to have one installed. A couple of days later my my entire house had no electricity. It cost me a thousand dollars to fix it. So much for smart meters.
When this happens and it will you need an alternative energy source ready to crank up. Otherwise you will live in misery.
The EPA shutdown of coal burning generating plants will without question lead to rolling blackouts in parts of the country during the first heat wave this summer.
IIRC, there was a report a couple of years back that some utility data systems had been hacked and the admins were not sure what, if anything, was left behind.
IMHO, there are any number of things that could cause a catastrophic failure including low-tech shooter teams that take out critical substations.
It's just prudent to prepare to live without modern tech. There is just too much that could go wrong.
I think if I was an enemy of the US it would be a very devastating and inexpensive way to make a major strike against the US.
The experts talk in the article express that they are 100% certain and I see no reason to doubt them. Hackers have already all to often proven thier ability to get into systems even those systems deem ultra secure.
So are you saying there isn’t any way a hacker or hackers could take down a smart grid?
From a smart meter designer: 100% certainty of this article being 100% hyperbole.
There are many things that could take down the grid. Smart meters aren't among them.
They oughta turn off the power for those people who don't want one.
The fear and loathing of digital electric meters has got to be the silliest bit of nonsense in Luddite history.
Looks like this is going to be another smart-meter bashing thread. It's OK; I'm here to lend some sanity.
So, lemme guess: you owed them money, and the remote-disconnect smart meter allowed them to turn your power off.
It’s not the meter itself its the systems that control the meter. You are aware that the meter itself can be told to shut off electrical power? So it you controlled the system you could shut off the power to any place with a smart meter then you could sabotage the system making it unable to turn the power back on or re-direct the power to cause damage to the grid or both.
My company both sells the equipment, and also maintains back-end systems for large utility concerns.
We have fully redundant instant-failover servers. We can upgrade anytime we feel like it, with NO downtime.
in 1982 the CIA was able to introduce software into a Russian pipe line that cause “the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space”. That was just introduce software. Imagine what could be done if you actually ‘hacked-in’ and controlled a system?
Not only am I aware, but I work down the hall from the man who holds more patents on remote disconnect than you can shake a stick at. I design smart metering systems for a living.
So it you controlled the system you could shut off the power to any place with a smart meter then you could sabotage the system making it unable to turn the power back on or re-direct the power to cause damage to the grid or both.
That is not the fault of the smart meter OR the systems that control them (like the article is saying). This is basic computer security. Physical security, encryption, limited disclosure of system architecture are all ways my company prevents hacking.
Can a single utility be hacked? Maybe. Enough to bring down one of the grids? I doubt it. Bring down ALL of them like the article says. Utter bullsh*t.
I'm a hardcore prepper, but this article is Chicken Little fearmongering. Period.
In 1982. In Siberia.
In other words, they brought down a system with ZERO security.
Our systems have sustained FULL-BORE attacks from Mexico and China. We have the logs; we know where the attacks came from.
A tree falling on a line in Ohio can bring the entire NE, but a hacker getting inside the control system has no chance?
It's worse than that ...
They designed the system from the get-go to destroy itself, then conned the Russkis into "stealing" it ...
But not particularly relevant to discussion of attacking somebody else's operational system.
The fool that wrote this screed isn’t even aware that the fuse has been invented, and broadly deployed.
I’m just relating what customers are telling me, what exposure I’ve had to them.
>> “It’s OK; I’m here to lend some sanity.” <<
In your dreams perhaps.
Mostly pro-control drivel, but we’re used to it. What would we do without control freaks?
I have experienced power outages and will in the future due to hurricanes. I now have my own multiple, redundant, power sources and can do without electric companies forever and be reasonably comfortable. It just takes educating oneself as to how to do it. I beat the subject to death until I had a plan that would work for me covering everything I needed.
As a result, I dont get upset when I hear, Its the end of the world as we know it! I do wish others would prepare so they could feel calm, too.
Oh yeah? Well when my smart meter failed, it cost me a million dollars to fix it.
If they’re running vmWare they simply move whatever Unix app they have to another server while it’s running. The users never notice it.
I quit reading there.
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