Episode 163: Can smart meters be hacked?

smart meter

Casey Canfield, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, explains how smart meters can be hacked.

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Learn More

Electric Meters from the Department of Energy

Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System from the National Academies Press

Multi-vendor Penetration Testing in the Advanced Metering Infrastructure presented at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference

Transcript

Can smart meters be hacked?

HOST: Are you worried about your smart meter being hacked? On this week’s Energy Bite, Casey Canfield, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

CASEY: A smart meter, which is a device the electricity company can put in your home to record more information about how much electricity you use, can be hacked. Hackers may want to steal electricity or money or implement a large-scale attack on the grid. For some of these attacks, the hacker needs physical access to the meter, but in other cases they don’t. The worst-case scenario…malicious hackers could illegally access many smart meters at the same time and cause a large blackout.

HOST: Is there anything we can do about it?

CASEY: We can improve the security of smart meters both in terms of hardware and software. Some have talked about improving the resiliency of the grid. This means that instead of making the electrical grid impossible to attack, we want the grid to be quick to recover. Reducing the demand for electricity also reduces national security risk.

HOST: Do security concerns influence how you feel about smart meters? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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