FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread
Karma in action. Myrcurial Brian, Thanks for doing the long form reporting in infosec that so few others seem willing to do. Ignoring those that do it for the sake of it — that I believe to be in the minority.
Now they do, having spent huge sums to get cleaner. Factor in the higher cost of natural gas due to many factors, including exploration costs for those types of plants, and the billions being spent to develop wind and solar, and the cost to maintain our existing aging nuclear plants, and it becomes easy to see why we are paying far more for electricity than we used to.
JCitizen April 14, Good post, just a few points; Many state tightly control the price of utility charges; so in actual dollars with inflation figured in, many places do have cheap electricity. Natural gas pricing is at an all time low adjusted for modern inflationary factors. It only takes 27 days at 5 mph wind or more to completely pay for the typical ft.
Where is the over head after that? Perhaps line loss — this is being dealt with — science is getting closer to room temperature super-conductivity every day. I agree nuclear power is just not practical for at least political purposes, especially since Fukushima. There is now a new Texas community that has declared themselves power independent, and they use little if any green house gases. Round Rock Electricity April 11, I am glad to have found your article.
I will be submitting a blog post to our site on this subject, and provide the link to this article. For instance, in Texas, a person with a Smart Meter can monitor their usage with an online account.
They can monitor the usage in 15 minute increments. The greedy always get caught first. Like any savvy computer user you sign up for the new-fangled smart meter monitoring software.
Naturally you are surprised by the amount of electricity you consume and the software soon highlights to you many ways to reduce your bills. This is natural and to be expected and encouraged. After the major savings are realised, the downward trend of consumption slows as you run out of ideas to save power.
We go back to our old habits or adapt to new ones. A smart power thief will duplicate this scenario, lowering the tariff cost inside the smart meter gradually to blend in with all the other power users. Hard to spot any trends? I would contend it is impossible to do remotely across a large number of consumers.
Cleveland comes to mind as one of the most progressive municipal centers of energy conservation. I actually feel that this subject is one of the few things I feel the government should hold a role in, as far as it should be treated like the Manhattan Project, and the security of the free world is in just as much jeopardy.
MrUnFixit-Maybe April 15, Physically going around altering individual smart meter settings is like having gun-toting rednecks holding up banks. These days you can deploy bots from an island paradise over your smart-phone to spam millions of people per day without having to even put down your glass of Coke.
What would make the utilities cringe and lose sleep is the ability of tapping into the parallel world of a duplicated Internet type system where all the smart devices for an utility talk amongst themselves. Each of these are eminently interceptible and often use well documented protocols.
Most smart meters have the ability to restrict electricity to the consumer. Imagine being able to shut down the electricity of the neighbour that is blasting their stereo at 2am without having to leave your premises. Imagine being able to shut down the whole street. Imagine being able to shut down the whole district.
A careful Google search will uncover the FTP location of the code for control of smart meters from the vendor websites, at the consumer, technician, monitor, and utility levels. The sales blurb proudly expounds the methods they use to communicate. The technical literature discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each method of control and how convenient it is to deploy and control.
A spot of disassembly, reverse engineering, and test on the meter at your premises that was foisted on you without your explicit consent, and voila, ultimate control. For some, the hardware will already be built into the shiny new smart-phones that support Irda, NFC and wireless, and the software is already well documented, robust and widely deployed. Should be as easy as pick a victim located anywhere on the globe from a pulldown list, press the button, and Zap!
The utilities have been conned into accepting the cheapest equipment that will do the job. A dollar saved on each meter over a whole city buys a few extra liquid lunches for management for many years. Most smart meters have only enough firmware storage capacity to patch small flaws, and not enough to add additional functionality such as more robust authentication and security algorithms. A wide ranging hardware replacement program will have to be deployed in the immediate short term, and of course the consumer will ask why they are paying twice for their unwanted new meters and their utility bills are sky-rocketing even faster.
The inconvenience to having to disconnect the power while the old equipment is being removed and the new installed will also be unpopular. It communicates for about five minutes a day total. JCitizen Bandwidth allowance is definitely not a concern. Basically like comparing a fart to a whirlwind.
I can predict some white papers being presented at conferences coming up real soon on exactly this subject, and imagine wikileaks hosting some background briefs to industry outlining the anticipated depth of grief they will be asked to bear. JCitizen April 16, Probe requirement seems odd to me, as all the gas companies here use radio telemetry in close proximity.
They just drive around and the data feeds into their truck by wireless. The area utility is still doing it that way so far. It sounds like this design you point to, is not a very good one, if the technician has to go through that much time and trouble to make a reading.
Chronic pulses of these power densities have not been tested over the long-term for safety. The FCC only looks at tissue heating in a 30 minute continuous exposure on a large man, but ignores other biological effects of RF exposure that the scientific literature documents. For a provocative, informative exploration of U.
Just as your mobile phones, laptops and tablets are continually upgraded as technology evolves, a smart meter is the next evolution of the traditional electric meter. A smart meter records energy consumption using digital technology and then transmits the data to Duke Energy using two-way communication.
This information allows us to identify and respond faster to potential problems like power outages and provides you with better visibility into your energy usage.
How can I tell if I have a smart meter? Who is receiving a smart meter? All Duke Energy customers, both residential and commercial, will receive a smart meter. When am I getting my smart meter? You will be notified by mail of your scheduled installation time frame a few weeks prior to your smart meter installation. Can I purchase and install or remove my own meter?
No, it is illegal and unsafe to do so. Your smart meter is the property of Duke Energy; removing or tampering with your smart meter may result in termination of service.
Further, improper handling of a meter can result in serious injury or death. Since smart meters eliminate the need for a Duke Energy technician to come to my house and manually read my meter, what should I do if I see a technician on my property after my smart meter installation?
If you have concerns about a technician's presence on your property, please call Please be advised that technicians may periodically need to make on-site meter checks for maintenance and repairs. Do I have to be home when my smart meter gets installed? You do not have to be home to receive your smart meter. As long as a technician can access your meter, your current meter will be exchanged for a smart meter.
You will receive a door hanger to confirm that your new meter has been installed. If for some reason the technician cannot access your meter, a door hanger will be left requesting that you call to schedule an appointment for installation. I want to be home when my smart meter is installed. Can I schedule an appointment? To schedule an appointment, please call the number provided on the postcard you received, notifying you of your installation time frame.
Installations occur Monday through Friday during normal business hours. There may, however, be cases when evening or weekend installations are necessary. Will my service be disrupted during the upgrade? Yes, a brief electrical service interruption will occur during the meter upgrade. You may need to reset any digital clocks on appliances and electronics. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Is my information protected? Protecting customer information is a top priority for Duke Energy. Customer identifying information — such as names and addresses — is not stored in the smart meter or transmitted across the network. The smart meter sends only your energy consumption information and meter identification number to Duke Energy. Kilowatt-hour consumption information is transmitted at regular intervals from your smart meter through an encrypted network for billing and reliability purposes.
This information is protected from the moment it is collected until the moment it is deleted. We do not share any information related to your personal usage. You may elect to personally download your daily and hourly usage information from the Duke Energy website customer portal in an industry standard format for your own use.
With the rapid advancements in technology, how are you protecting my meter information from hackers? As part of our grid improvements, Duke Energy continually assesses and mitigates cyberthreats to ensure that emerging technologies, like smart meters, that we deploy are secure from both intentional and unintentional threats.
Department of Commerce. Our digital grid components are protected with layers of cyber and physical security, and through our relationships with manufacturers and security vendors, we continue to test and advance the security capabilities of those components. Are radio frequency RF emissions coming from the smart meter? In fact, the emissions produced by other household devices, such as cellphones, baby monitors and microwaves, are considerably higher than the small amount of RF emissions produced by smart meters.
Duke Energy only uses FCC-compliant meters. The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of , among other things, to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. Consumer safety is one of Duke Energy's top priorities, and we continuously work to ensure the safety and reliability of the products and services we offer.
Learn more about smart meters and radio frequency: Radio Frequency and Smart Meters — Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that conducts research to educate consumers on the benefits of the smart grid.
The level of sophistication varies, however.
Techniques to detect and harden an e-meter against intrusive tampering
Some videos show how to apply a magnet to an energy counter, while others contain detailed instructions on how to take the meter device apart. Of those videos, only two issued some sort of warning, either presented in verbal form or explicitly in writing.
On videos illustrating the effects of holding a magnet against the meter to decelerate the counter, Mark Coles, head of technical regulations at the IET, remains sceptical whether this actually works on UK electricity meters. He warns that the illegal extraction of electricity can lead to a fine or a prison sentence. Other findings suggest that many consumers may be unaware of the risks involved in the practice.
According to the Echo research consumer surveys, 39 per cent or around two out of five consumers are incognisant of the threat meter tampering causes to public safety. Precise numbers on how many may suffer death and injury are hard to establish; proving the link between energy theft and personal injury or damage is often difficult to ascertain.
They pose a real danger to society. Methods employed in these videos should never be carried out by a skilled technician — let alone an untrained member of the public. Legitimate electricity consumers do not engage in these behaviors, so the impact of electricity theft — including the danger— is often unrecognized.
Paying the Price of Power Theft
Power theft carries deadly risks. Many thieves pay for the power they steal with their lives. Electricity theft is not just dangerous for those who steal. If you are on the same power line as someone who steals electricity, you could pay the cost for their theft too. The power line could become overloaded with electric energy, which could harm your electronics and appliances designed to receive a certain steady amount of electricity.
What is the standard used for calibration of energy meter?
Electricity theft makes power service less reliable and lower quality for paying customers. Electricity thieves may also unknowingly feed energy back into the power line. This is dangerous for lineman, who may assume the power line they are working on is de-energized.