Smart meters not smart enough yet

A 2010 FBI document obtained by security blog KrebsOnSecurity states that smart meter hacks “may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”

Smart meters, intended to streamline energy usage by tracking and providing detailed reports to residents, and by incorporating renewable energy resources into its data streams, have been under fire for several reasons, including health risk claims and privacy concerns. Health risks have been debunked by several research institutions, including the World Health Organization, but hacking has yet to be prevented, as evidenced by the FBI report.

According to a KrebsOnSecurity article published on April 9, the FBI anticipates more hacks as smart grids are implemented in more communities through the U.S. The article states, “The hacks described by the FBI do not work remotely, and require miscreants to have physical access to the devices. They succeed because many smart meter devices deployed today do little to obfuscate the credentials needed to change their settings.”

In late February, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved an alternative to the standard smart meters for consumers who wish to opt out. Instead of the default meters, consumers will receive a different digital device that, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “would not store or transmit daily or hourly power-use details directly to NV Energy, but that would be read remotely once a month by drive-by meter-readers.” Smart meters are currently being installed throughout the state.

Read the full FBI report and KrebsOnSecurity article at