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Buggy 'smart meters' open door to power-grid botnet Grid-burrowing worm only the beginning
theregister.co.uk ^ | June 12, 2009 | Dan Goodin

Posted on 06/15/2009 6:42:04 AM PDT by smokingfrog

New electricity meters being rolled out to millions of homes and businesses are riddled with security bugs that could bring down the power grid, according to a security researcher who plans to demonstrate several attacks at a security conference next month.

The so-called smart meters for the first time provide two-way communications between electricity users and the power plants that serve them. Prodded by billions of dollars from President Obama's economic stimulus package, utilities in Seattle, Houston, Miami, and elsewhere are racing to install them as part of a plan to make the power grid more efficient. Their counterparts throughout Europe are also spending heavily on the new technology.

There's just one problem: The newfangled meters needed to make the smart grid work are built on buggy software that's easily hacked, said Mike Davis, a senior security consultant for IOActive. The vast majority of them use no encryption and ask for no authentication before carrying out sensitive functions such as running software updates and severing customers from the power grid. The vulnerabilities, he said, are ripe for abuse.

(Excerpt) Read more at theregister.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: economy; energy; greentech; hacked; obama; powergrid; regulation; smartmeter

1 posted on 06/15/2009 6:42:06 AM PDT by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog

Why isn’t this in American news?


2 posted on 06/15/2009 6:45:16 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: ShadowAce

.


3 posted on 06/15/2009 6:45:47 AM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: smokingfrog

Utter nonsense, and we already beat this horse to death a couple of times.

Move on folks, there’s nothing to be seen here at all.


4 posted on 06/15/2009 6:46:09 AM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts....)
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To: smokingfrog
..We can switch off hundreds of thousands of homes potentially at the same time..

Wasn't this part of the goal?

5 posted on 06/15/2009 6:48:49 AM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: OneWingedShark
because this may show up on his teleprompter..
6 posted on 06/15/2009 6:49:32 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: OneWingedShark
Why isn’t this in American news?

Sssssh! It might reflect badly on the Anointed One!

7 posted on 06/15/2009 6:50:40 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
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To: Bean Counter

Please explain how it has been “beat to death”. I am a daily frequenter of Free Republic and have not seen this discussed in great detail. While it may have been discussed in some threads, I may have missed them.

Feel free to introduce facts, details and opinions you may be familiar with.


8 posted on 06/15/2009 6:53:29 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek - Read it...today.)
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To: Bean Counter

And, by the way, thanks for your service, Chief...


9 posted on 06/15/2009 6:55:40 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek - Read it...today.)
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To: ladyvet
I thought the goal was to ultimately control the amount of gas going into a home. With this new technology, combined with the data provided by Acorn's census, Obama can now limit power to the bitter clingers.
10 posted on 06/15/2009 6:56:12 AM PDT by I Buried My Guns (Buy Lots Of Ammo Today: BLOAT)
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To: Bean Counter
Utter nonsense, and we already beat this horse to death a couple of times.

What is "utter nonsense"? The idea that they are installing meters that can shut your power off as the push of a button?

Also, please explain how meters save energy? Meters monitor energy. These are not meters. They are controls that can also monitor electricity usage.

11 posted on 06/15/2009 6:58:58 AM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

12 posted on 06/15/2009 7:06:53 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: raybbr

Just another foot of rope for our government. This will be used to introduce a progressive tax on energy usage. All new cars will ship with “internet capabilities” to do the same thing with the miles that you drive.


13 posted on 06/15/2009 7:07:53 AM PDT by willyd (My Driver's License is under Obama's Birth Certificate officer.)
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To: OneWingedShark
Why isn’t this in American news?

Probably because the Brits are being forced to accept these meters by law. They are still relatively uncommon in the US.

14 posted on 06/15/2009 7:35:02 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Gitmo detainees to Alcatraz!)
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To: raybbr
What is "utter nonsense"? The idea that they are installing meters that can shut your power off as the push of a button?

What I find disturbing is the idea that other people will ultimately have the power to decide not only how much electricity you can be allocated but what you will be allowed to use it for.

I heard a report on NPR where the person who was advocating smart-power was gleefully describing how they would be able to remotely set the thermostat in someone's home. This made me wonder that if they had such power a) What would stop them from using it? and b) Where would their usurpation of rights for 'the good of the community and environment' end?
15 posted on 06/15/2009 8:28:15 AM PDT by contemplator (Capitalism gets no Rock Concerts)
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To: contemplator

Well, one of the few upsides of the greatest crash in history coming is they’ll stop installing and you can keep your old well made simple meter forever.


16 posted on 06/15/2009 8:46:03 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: contemplator

I heard a report on NPR where the person who was advocating smart-power was gleefully describing how they would be able to remotely set the thermostat in someone’s home.
_________________________

Can you find a link for that and post it, maybe on the NPR website or some other one?


17 posted on 06/15/2009 8:54:15 AM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: contemplator
What I find disturbing is the idea that other people will ultimately have the power to decide not only how much electricity you can be allocated but what you will be allowed to use it for.

These meters cannot do that. They can only be turned on or off. Regulating use of electricity would require a complete rewire of the panel and using some sort of relay system to regulate the amount of power you use.

I am starting to do some research on this. It appears that CT's CL&P (our power co.) is set to install 1.2 million of these meters. I plan to stop them from putting it in my house. I see no reason to use them except to cut power immediately from a remote location.

18 posted on 06/15/2009 8:55:54 AM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: JavaJumpy; contemplator
Want to read something really disturbing?

Monitoring Home Usage

One recent afternoon, Tom Stathos from PPL is looking over Yeakel's shoulder as she clicks through the site. He notices that Yeakel's electricity use surges upward around 8 p.m. and asks her to explain what happens in her house at that time.

"My husband comes home," she says. He turns on the television and lights, leaves doors open and starts cooking. "We're always behind him turning everything off," Yeakel says with a giggle, adding that even her 4-year-old twins pitch in.

From NPR.

This woman has let a man into her home to interrogate her and support the castigation of her husband.

19 posted on 06/15/2009 9:01:18 AM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: raybbr

..all part of the wuSSiFicKation of the Nation.


20 posted on 06/15/2009 9:03:55 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: rlmorel

Search is your friend here at FR. Please do a search here on a few key words and see what you can dig up here that’s already been posted. I guarantee that there have been numerous articles and endless tinfoil hat theories expounded at length about these wacky notions about so-called “smart meters”.

Once you find the last article that was posted on this, you will also find my comments on it, and I have no reason to change what I already said numerous times on this topic including my explanation about what is “nonsense” and why.

Thanks for asking, and good hunting...


21 posted on 06/15/2009 9:11:53 AM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts....)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Bean Counter; rlmorel
Once you find the last article that was posted on this, you will also find my comments on it, and I have no reason to change what I already said numerous times on this topic including my explanation about what is “nonsense” and why.

Okay, I did that. Here's one of your posts:

We have had these so-called “smart meters” here that our Public owned elecrtic utility started switching to a couple of years ago. Not one of the dire predictions that this article makes have come true. Not one.

The real result of our smart meters?? The Utility saves a fortune in payroll expenses by eliminating the need for a number of on-foot meter readers.

The meter reader simply drives past the house, and the meters transmit the current readings.

That’s it. We are saving money, ergo keeping electric rates lower than they otherwise would be, by using smart technology to read the meters more accurately than before. If a meter doesn’t read correctly, the reader can tell that from the street and call in for a replacement.

That’s why they call this “smart” technology...Here.

END.

According to you you have had smart meters for years. However, according to following link Washington hasn't had them nor are they planning to.

I don't think YOU understand what they are talking about regarding smart meters.

Utility-Scale Smart Meter Deployments, Plans & Proposals (IOUs*) May 2009

*

23 posted on 06/15/2009 11:30:58 AM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: raybbr
Same report, next to the last paragraph -

Some electric companies say they hope to use smart technologies to reach into their customers' homes and actually turn thermostats up or down, change settings on water heaters or tell refrigerators not to defrost.
24 posted on 06/15/2009 11:34:53 AM PDT by contemplator (Capitalism gets no Rock Concerts)
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To: JavaJumpy

See Post 19 and 24 in this thread. 19 has the link.


25 posted on 06/15/2009 11:36:21 AM PDT by contemplator (Capitalism gets no Rock Concerts)
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To: Bean Counter
"Move on folks, there’s nothing to be seen here at all."

BS! (or did I miss your /sarc tag?) These meters are not the "drive-by" type; they will have an "always on" two way link.

26 posted on 06/15/2009 11:44:24 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: raybbr; contemplator

Thank you for your replies; however, I am unable to type the rest of what just flew out of my mouth.


27 posted on 06/15/2009 12:24:05 PM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: raybbr

“We’re always behind him turning everything off,” Yeakel says with a giggle,”

Gee whiz, are they using the new energy-saving bulbs? Because with those, you must leave them burning for at least 15 minutes at a clip in order for them to save energy. You can’t just walk into the kitchen, turn it on, drink a glass of water, walk out and turn the light off. No, you must turn it on and leave it on in order for it to save energy.

What’s down is up, what’s up is down.


28 posted on 06/15/2009 12:30:44 PM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: JavaJumpy
“We’re always behind him turning everything off,” Yeakel says with a giggle,”

I can't get over how she basically tells the world she's monitoring her OWN husband and giggles about it.

The guy must either not know or is such a dufus that he doesn't care.

My mind can't grasp allowing a stranger to come in and analyze my family's lifestyle either.

People really are turning into sheep.

29 posted on 06/15/2009 12:33:16 PM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: raybbr

These meters cannot do that. They can only be turned on or off. Regulating use of electricity would require a complete rewire of the panel and using some sort of relay system to regulate the amount of power you use.
_________________________________

Somewhere I read that they’ll be starting with the new builds to control energy to your home from the power company and working their way down from there. That was before the housing hit bottom, though, so I dunno if that’s still the plan.


30 posted on 06/15/2009 12:34:13 PM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: JavaJumpy
Somewhere I read that they’ll be starting with the new builds to control energy to your home from the power company and working their way down from there. That was before the housing hit bottom, though, so I dunno if that’s still the plan.

Okay, I see now. They are planning on communicating with your appliances through the electric circuits. It's not going to be either/or. They can, with the appliance manufacturer's compliance, build those appliances with communication possible to the grid. Or, maybe Obama will appoint a new "AC/DC Czar" to control all electricity.

In any case hold on to your old fridge's, AC units, furnaces, etc. They can't control those unless they are retro-fitted with a PC of some sort.

31 posted on 06/15/2009 12:38:40 PM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: raybbr

maybe Obama will appoint a new “AC/DC Czar”
__________________________________

Anything is possible with this administration!


32 posted on 06/15/2009 12:48:58 PM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: JavaJumpy
maybe Obama will appoint a new “AC/DC Czar”

Bon Scott is not available.

33 posted on 06/15/2009 12:51:30 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: All
I read the linked article at the Register, and being an IT person, have been to this site many times. It is a decent site for some things, it is right on some, wrong on some, but not disreputable. The people running it have an understanding of IT even though it is more of a rumor site than anything else.

That said, these devices are computers. They have microprocessors in them, software to run them, and will be communicating over a wide area network probably using standard networking protocols.

The author made this statement: "...The vast majority of them use no encryption and ask for no authentication before carrying out sensitive functions such as running software updates and severing customers from the power grid. The vulnerabilities, he said, are ripe for abuse..."

I agree with this statement. If these devices live on a wide area network, accessible to the world, are transmitting unencrypted and are not requiring authentication, it is a recipe for disaster.

I am not being alarmist either. This is nothing to take lightly.

34 posted on 06/15/2009 6:39:13 PM PDT by rlmorel ("The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek - Read it...today.)
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