Smart grids are being hailed as a potential solution to the impending energy supply problems the world will face over the coming years.
The intent is to intelligently manage use in accordance with supply and alter tariffs to drive healthy usage patterns; Fair enough. It’s clever business welcomed by all, that is if we ignore the obvious high cost of delivery.
Accounting and sentiment aside, the real issue we see is the inherent risk in creating a management network such as a smart grid.
Many current investigations into the technology, as well as planned deployments tout trendy capabilities.
Mobile device compatibility i.e. the ability to control your homes appliances remotely to take advantage of low tariff times. Despite the obvious limitations in the theory, I am somewhat surprised that this is even being thought of anywhere; that is anywhere with an eye on Health and Safety.
Random and malicious attacks on grid residents could compromise authentication details in a number of ways and while mischief and damage could result, the same problem exists elsewhere where damage would be so much more significant.
Mobile Network Infrastructure
In the ever demanding economic climate, many telecommunications operators across the globe have invested significantly in expenditure reduction programs.
In one way or another, smart meters are finding themselves part and parcel of a mobile network for this reason. Smart meter solutions get installed with relays for cutting supplies of energy, allowing to switch energy sources or disconnecting of subtended devices such as network equipment.
In almost all cases, solutions are scoped in a manner that gives very little consideration to direct attack scenarios. It is a fact most solutions are sold on the basis of cost savings, unified control and management capabilities and not security. If we are learning one thing of late, it is co-ordinated infrastructure attacks are possible and happening as we speak. We are also certain Iranian Nuclear Enrichment facilities are a lot harder to penetrate than your average mobile operator and it was done with impunity and anonymity.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, our high value penetration testing team at I.T. Security geeks can help. Contact us for more information.