Hackers can bring down smart grid

    Security experts warn the US government that the introduction of a national system of "smart" power grids threatens unprecedented hacker attacks . According to them, with the help of simple equipment worth $ 500, hackers can carry out an attack, which will lead to a cascade shutdown.

    Smart grid is a new initiative of the authorities, which is supported by many IT companies, including Google . Already $ 4.5 billion has been allocated for it from a freshly adopted plan to stimulate the US economy. The project provides for the supply of all houses in the country with interactive meters connected to a single information system, as well as an upgrade of energy infrastructure. Here are two main benefits of the new approach:

    1. Each device (whether it is a washing machine or a server) will be able to independently determine at what time electricity has the lowest cost (at night, in the morning) and automatically start resource-intensive processes at that time.

    2. Users will be able to give surplus of their electricity to the common network. For example, to drain there an unnecessary charge from the battery or energy accumulated on solar panels. And get paid for it.

    However, such a system has a number of vulnerabilities, experts say. In their opinion, counters united in one network are a weak point. According to them, a hacker can infiltrate the system and massively manipulate meter readings. Thus, an attacker could initiate the simultaneous launch of millions of household appliances across America. This will immediately cause network congestion and cascade disconnection of substations. The problem is that the industry that has already started producing smart electricity meters (like Itron) has not yet developed a common safety standard for them. It seems that they are simply in a hurry to master the money allocated from the budget.

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