Hacking is as Serious
as Business Can Be . . .
FROM DR. ANDREW GOLDSWORTHY: STUXNET AND 'SMART' METERS:
I watched a Horizon programme on BBC TV a week or two ago on
computer hacking. It contained an interesting section on the Stuxnet virus,
which was allegedly developed by the USA in collaboration with the
Israelis to disrupt the Iranian nuclear programme. It can be introduced into
the IT network by a USB stick or CD ROM running Windows, but then spreads to
the industrial microprocessors running purpose-built software. In the Iranian
case, it increased the speed of the centrifuges in their uranium enrichment
plant so that they exploded.
Stuxnet is an extremely clever piece of computer code that may lie
dormant in the control gear, perhaps for months, recording what the device was
doing and then activated itself to disrupt that process and at the same time
kid the process monitors that everything was still OK. The Iranians literally
didn't know what had hit them.
It transpires that the same virus can carry other payloads; e.g.
to turn computer-controlled valves on and off without anyone knowing until it
is too late. The worrying thing is that this virus is now out in the wild and
can attack pretty much any computer-controlled equipment, which presumably
includes wireless smart meters. According Symantec (best known for its Norton
Antivirus product) this virus has now spread to many countries including
European states and the USA.
Is this why British Gas has been instructed to remove all of its
smart meters as soon as possible? If the virus could turn our gas and
electricity supplies on and off at random (which should not be too difficult
for an experienced hacker to arrange) it could cause widespread disruption and,
in the case of gas meters, result in many explosions as flames became
extinguished and then failed to reignite properly when the supply returned.
This, in itself is a very good reason to oppose the installation
of smart meters and, if it became widely known, could result in something
approaching public panic. Interestingly, all Horizon programmes, including
this, one have now been deleted from BBC iPlayer.
* * * *
'Smart' Meters: Boondoggle for Criminals
"The big risk is that a compromise could give you access
to hundreds of thousands of homes all at once; I could see that as an attack
someone could actually use to launch a crime spree."
the article ABOVE, don't forget to also check out the links at the bottom about home
invasions by attacking home networks. Criminals don't need a key, they can open
door to your home; drink all your beer, steal your dog, your wife, your hard
On a more serious note, the smart meter is supposed to connect to your HAN.
Virtually all smart meters being installed in
the US come with a second built-in radio — the Home Area Network interface (HAN)—
that can send information to one or more devices in the home. This is separate
from the other radio in the meter that sends data back to the utility.
Bringing HAN to your computer or smartphone
Your home router
could one day include both a wi-fi radio and a HAN radio. This would allow your
smart meter to talk directly to your home computer or smartphone.
Then, if you
also have a smart thermostat or smart appliances in home, your computer could
control those appliances. Or, more likely, you could use your computer
or smartphone to program your appliances to operate automatically based on your
preferences for time of operation and, perhaps, power prices. And so can hackers!
1-Malicious virus shuttered U.S. power plant -DHS By Jim Finkle Jan 16
(Reuters) - A computer virus attacked a turbine control system at a U.S. power
company last fall when a technician unknowingly inserted an infected USB
computer drive into the network, keeping a plant off line for three weeks,
according to a report posted on a U.S. government website. The Department of
Homeland Security report did not identify the plant but said criminal software,
which is used to conduct financial crimes such as identity theft, was behind
the incident. It was introduced by an employee of a third-party contractor that
does business with the utility, according to the agency.
Amazing mind reader reveals his