SMeters Weak Link in 'SmartGrid' – EON EMF Digest 10-1-10

Sign the Petition for a California-wide smart meter moritorium. Details below.

Smart Meter security fears
Big Brother Watch has written a number of times about the forthcoming introduction of Smart Meters to British homes (see here and here for further information and our most in-depth articles). As you will see, we have always been wary of the remit of the technology and its implications for ever closer control of our personal energy use.

Smart_meter It is thus with much interest that we read a new report out last week – Smart Meter Security – published by clean technology analyst group Pike Research, which described smart meters as “one of the weakest links in the smart grid security chain”.

As eWeek Europe explains:

The technology at the heart of the government’s plans to roll out smart meters to every home and small business in the country are fundamentally insecure and will be successfully attacked by hackers, according to researchers.

“It would be naïve to think that smart meters will not be successfully attacked. They will be,” the report states. “In fact, smart meters represent a worst-case scenario in terms of security: the devices lack sufficient power to execute strong security software; they are placed in physically non- secure locations; and they are installed in volumes large enough that one or two may not be missed.”

According to Pike, the gap in smart meter and grid security won’t be solved using existing architectures and it will take until at least 2013 for solutions to be properly developed.

SMeters weak link in Smart Grid
Smart Meter Security Investment to Total $575 Million by 2015, but Meters Remain a Point of Vulnerability in the Smart Grid
August 3, 2010

Smart meter deployment continues to pick up speed in nearly all regions of the world; however, as with all information technologies introduced in the past 50 years, cyber security was at first overlooked in the rush to create a working device. Now, utilities, governments, systems integrators, device manufacturers, and nearly everyone else involved realize that smart meters and their surrounding networks can be attacked, and that cyber security measures are necessary to protect the meters and their environment. A new report from Pike Research forecasts that investment in smart meter security will total $575 million worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2015, representing an average of about $3.00 per meter during that period.

“Smart meters are one of the weakest links in the smart grid security chain,” says industry analyst Bob Lockhart. “Home area networks, commercial building networks, and utility networks all perform well in terms of keeping data encrypted within their domains. However, these domains terminate at the smart meter, and the only way for data to pass from one network to the other is for the smart meter to decrypt the data from one side and re-encrypt it on the other. Consequently, the data are, for a short while, unencrypted on the meter and could be successfully eavesdropped.”

SMeters Will Be Hacked, Warn Researchers
The actual meters are a weak point between home networks and smart grid infrastructure that will be exploited, experts warn
By Andrew Donoghue
The technology at the heart of the government’s plans to roll out smart meters to every home and small business in the country are fundamentally insecure and will be successfully attacked by hackers, according to researchers.

In a report published this week – Smart Meter Security – clean technology analyst group Pike Research states that governments and industry have rushed to develop smart meter technology but have not considered all the security issues around the technology.

“It would be naïve to think that smart meters will not be successfully attacked. They will be,” the report states. “In fact, smart meters represent a worst-case scenario in terms of security: the devices lack sufficient power to execute strong security software; they are placed in physically non- secure locations; and they are installed in volumes large enough that one or two may not be missed.”

Specifically, Pike believes that smart meters are an inherent weak point in the various networks which will ultimately form smart power grids, stated Pike industry analyst Bob Lockhart. “Smart meters are one of the weakest links in the smart grid security chain,” he said. “Home area networks, commercial building networks, and utility networks all perform well in terms of keeping data encrypted within their domains. However, these domains terminate at the smart meter, and the only way for data to pass from one network to the other is for the smart meter to decrypt the data from one side and re-encrypt it on the other. Consequently, the data are, for a short while, unencrypted on the meter and could be successfully eavesdropped.”

U.S. mounting first test of cyber-blitz response plan
By Jim Wolf
(Reuters) – The United States is launching its first test of a new plan for responding to an enemy cyber-blitz, including any attack aimed at vital services such as power, water and banks.
Thousands of cyber-security personnel from across the government and industry are to take part in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm III, a three- to four-day drill starting Tuesday.
The goals are to boost preparedness; examine incident response and enhance information-sharing among federal, state, international and private-sector partners.
“At its core, the exercise is about resiliency — testing the nation’s ability to cope with the loss or damage to basic aspects of modern life,” said a release made available at DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington.
The simulation tests the newly developed National Cyber Incident Response Plan, a coordinated framework ordered by President Barack Obama.
The plan is designed to be flexible and adaptable enough to mesh responders’ efforts across jurisdictional lines. Refinements may be made after the exercise, DHS officials said.
The test involves 11 states, 12 foreign countries 60 private companies.

Moratorium on Wireless Smartmeters in the State of California
* Target: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr.
* Sponsored by: No On Smart Meters Campaign

“Smart” meters do not save energy. The Smart Grid is part of the long-range plans the energy industry has to save itself money and be able to charge you more. This is the Big Picture. It may be an inevitability if our future depends on the growth of technology. What is NOT inevitable or required is the use of WIRELESS tech.

Too many suppressed or ignored studies plus the large and rapidly increasing number of reports of resultant health problems mandate that the onslaught of wireless tech development be halted at once until safety becomes a priority and can be guaranteed.

The “smart” meter program creates a pervasive electromagnetic field, and there are no studies yet published on the smartmeter that indicate that the levels of EMF emitted — collectively in a community — are safe. The “safety” standards the meters comply with are irrelevant to the situation, and were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances in which the meters are being used. Because the Smart Meter system is a mesh network, it is impossible to predict individual levels of exposure with any consistency or certainty. The un-safeness of the “safety” standards for the continuously transmitting “smart” meters is apparent from the reports of health problems, ranging from headaches to poor sleep to heart palpitations, that can begin after their installation.

The stated objectives of the Smart Grid Program can be accomplished without transmitting meters — but better yet would be a switch to “WiseGrid” solutions based on regionally appropriate mixes of renewable energy sources, guided by efficiency and conservation, which can be realized without the looming health, environmental, privacy and security hazards posed by wireless, hackable, invasive metering systems. This is a smarter path — better for humans and other living things, better for the planet and better for democracy.

Remember: Smartmeters Are Real Trouble! https://eon3emfblog.net/ https://stopsmartmeters.org/ https://smartmeters.transbay.net https://www.electricalpollution.com/ https://emfsafetynetwork.org less”Smart” meters do not save energy. The Smart Grid is part of the long-range plans the energy industry has to save itself money and be able to charge you more. This is the Big Picture. It may be an inevitability if our future depends on the growth of technology. What is NOT inevitable or required is the use of WIRELESS tech.

Too many suppressed or ignored studies plus the large and rapidly increasing number of reports of resultant health problems mandate that the onslaught of wireless tech development be halted at once until safety becomes a priority and can be guaranteed.

PG&E and SoCal Edison have already begun to deploy wireless Smart Meters despite the fact that San Francisco’s City Attorney and multiple cities, counties, and towns have formally petitioned for an immediate moratorium until adequate investigation of the faulty and inaccurate meters is completed. These devices add an even stronger layer of microwave (RF) radiation to our homes and environments. Their peak power pulses repeat at least every one to two minutes as they gather and relay energy data from house to house throughout the day and night. In light of the growing number of people with electromagnetic sensitivity and the fact that children, the elderly, and those with chronic illness will be most adversely affected, and in light of the lack of FCC safety standards for chronic long term exposure to microwave (RF) radiation and in light of the call for use of the precautionary principle for wireless technology from global scientists, environmental agencies, advocacy groups and doctors,

we the undersigned request that you:
1. Place an immediate moratorium on all new wireless installations to allow time for a thorough independent and transparent scientific review.
2. Thoroughly investigate the PG&E Smart Meter proposal and potential health risks of these devices by holding public hearings.
3. Require PG&E to submit a characterization study of the smart meter system.
4. Allow customers to “opt out” of the program
Thousands of signatures have already been turned in on similar petitions to the CPUC and to government officials of Sonoma, Santa Cruz, Alameda, and San Francisco Counties.
We request your immediate consideration on this urgent matter, Thank you.
Sign the Petition Here

More Information Sought on Cell Phone Industry Influence on FCC
In an article in the current edition of OMB Watch’s Watcher, we discuss serious concerns about the extent of the wireless communications industry’s influence over regulators. Following San Francisco’s move to inform the public about potentially dangerous exposures to cell phone radiation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the agency in charge of regulating cell phone radiation levels – changed its website. The FCC deleted a suggestion to consumers to seek phones with lower radiation levels (known as SAR values), and added a lot of industry-speak downplaying the legitimate concerns raised by public interest groups. Now the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is demanding to know why the FCC made the changes and what role the wireless trade association might have played.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.