6uwu8KfUTSHc6sHH8HJkCPgZV4w Digital City Briefs - 30 Global Cities: Is a Smart Meter Safe?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is a Smart Meter Safe?

More than 36 million smart meters have been installed across the Unites States. They track energy usage in real time and allow customers to control high-energy appliances remotely. They also allow utility companies to read and monitor energy usage remotely saving time and resources. But are they secure?

Smart meters collect data every 15 minutes instead of traditional monthly meter readings. Such data can provide a great deal of information about the user’s life style and daily habits.  A typical smart meter is a simple processor with a little bit of hard disk space. It does not have the capacity to support antivirus software. The security concerns include denial of service attacks, selling personal data to third parties, hacking attacks and so on.

Although smart meter security has technically gotten better, it is still of concern. In April, for instance, the FBI warned that hacking smart meters and the fraudulent power bills that result may cost utility companies about $400 million per year.”

Reference: Mulholland, Jessica, Smart Meter Security, Governing, August 21, 2012
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