Smart Grid Technology: Vulnerable To Hackers

Mar 23, 2009 by John Messina weblog
Power Grid

(PhysOrg.com) -- Smart Grids are digitally based electricity distribution and transmission systems and test have shown that a hacker can break into the system resulting in a massive blackout.

IOActive, a professional security services firm, has concluded that with $500 of equipment and materials and a background in electronics and , a could infiltrate the advanced meter infrastructure and cause a massive manipulation of service to homes and businesses.

Once in the system, a hacker could gain control of thousands of meters and shut them all off simultaneously. It would also be possible to increase or decrease the demand for power and disrupting the load balance on the local causing a blackout. Starting as a localized power outage, it would then cascade to other parts of the grid, expanding the blackout. One can only speculate how wide spread the outage would become.

Industry experts have said that they have no intention of placing an unsafe grid online. As of now there are no cybersecurity standards in place. A spoke person for the Department of Homeland Security stated, "there are a lot of discussions about where the requirements will come from and who will be ultimately responsible."

Garry Brown, who is the chairman of New York's Public Service Commission, said he believes the benefits of Smart Grid outweigh the risks, but his State needs to take a good look at cybersecurity before making large investments in the technologies.

In conclusion, we have to be vigilant and address security issues in the Smart Grid early on before moving forward with deployment of the Smart .

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

Explore further: Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Transmission - Grains of insight into the grid

Aug 13, 2004

The way growing piles of sand behave -- with bursts of energy that result in large and small avalanches -- has served as a model for fusion researchers seeking insight into the way magnetically confined plasmas behave in ...

Recommended for you

Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking

17 hours ago

Our smartphones help us find a phone number quickly, provide us with instant directions and recommend restaurants, but new research indicates that this convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking ...

Five stunners from the Geneva car show

Mar 04, 2015

Forget driverless cars, electric power or even green technology. There is no doubt what visitors are coming to see at the glamorous Geneva motor show: supercars.

Cash could be phased out within a decade, says expert

Mar 03, 2015

The rise of electronic currency will lead to the phasing out of physical cash in Australia within a decade, according to Professor Rabee Tourky, Director of the Australian National University (ANU) Research ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

earls
not rated yet Mar 23, 2009
I hope they highlight this danger in their cute little commercials.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.