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Smart Meters Start Getting Hacked
In Both Low Tech and High Tech Fashion
by Karl Bode 08:59AM Wednesday Apr 11 2012
While smart meters help save utilities money on truck rolls while improving data collection -- the migration hasn't been without issues, with many people reporting that the devices interfere with their home networks or decimate connectivity to their regional WISP. Brian Krebs has obtained an FBI bulletin warning that smart meter hacking is also on the rise. While you'd expect wireless meters to ultimately see remote hacking, the initial hacks are decidedly low tech -- such as simply placing a strong magnet on the device:
The bureau also said another method of attacking the meters involves placing a strong magnet on the devices, which causes it to stop measuring usage, while still providing electricity to the customer....The altered meter typically reduces a customer’s bill by 50 percent to 75 percent. Because the meter continues to report electricity usage, it appears be operating normally. Since the meter is read remotely, detection of the fraud is very difficult.
Krebs notes that tools are in development that could allow for the interception of administrative credentials to access the devices. As we've noted with interference issues, users can opt out of having newer meters installed, but it often comes with monthly fees up to $20.

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