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News Link • Hacking, Cyber Security

Smart grid vulnerability could give hackers free electricity

•, By Stephen C. Webster

A cyber security researcher will demonstrate a toolset later this week which allows users to break into so-called “smart meters” that control a structure’s access to the power grid and water utilities, potentially enabling the user to modify the reported volume of services used or even avoid being charged altogether.

Of course, that’s not what the tool is meant for, but power companies are still worried — and for good reason.

Security researcher Spencer McIntyre, with the consulting firm SecureState, wrote that “Termineter” was designed to “test smart meters for vulnerabilities such as energy consumption fraud, network hijacking, and more.” He explained that the very existence of this toolset should spur smart meter makers into improving their security, rather than simply ignoring it and letting hackers steal electricity.

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