Smart meters–friend or foe?


Big Island ARRL News, 29 April 2017, 16:00 hrs, UTC, Post #183.


Author:  Nigel Phair.

Accessed on 29 April 2017, 16:00 hrs, UTC.

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Many of the digital devices we use to control our ham radio stations, monitor our “smart” homes, and automate our industries are highly susceptible to hackers.  Over the past few months, hackers have successfully interrupted subway service in San Francisco, triggered Civil Defense sirens in Dallas, and cut off life support systems in several hospitals.  Many control systems belong to the general category known as IoT (The Internet of Things), which are often penetrated by cyber criminals and cause social and economic disruption.

The latest target of hackers are so called “smart meters” which monitor electric use in our homes and businesses.  Rigel Phair, the Director of the Centre for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra, Australia, is warning Australian consumers about security flaws in smart meters:

“There are two types of smart meters, ‘one-way’ or ‘two-way’ meters:
one way meters simply transmit data back to utility companies.”

“Two-way meters can be updated to inform savvy consumers on fee changes or allow power companies to cut services at a moment’s notice.”

“Mr Phair said two-way meters had less secure data connections, allowing would-be criminals to hack in.”

“ActewAGL said there were 3225 two-way smart meters in the ACT, and also that there were no Australian or global standards on security and privacy regarding smart meters and called for more stringent digital security standards.”

Just a word of caution for those of us considering the installation of smart meters and other home control devices.

Don’t forget to visit “Radio Day” today (29 April 2017) at the Eden Roc park and community pavilion.

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Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section


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