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Using Smart Meters as a Digital Attack Vector

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Even if you’re not in the utility industry, it’s hard to ignore the slow march forward of the smart meter. The days of a utility employee stopping by to check the meter are well on their way out. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a system that relies on someone physically showing up to check the meter at all. Today, smart meters go beyond simply reporting on usage. They include two-way communication at frequent intervals, and they can report on situations like outages.

Communication infrastructure known as the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is what really enables the smart meter’s benefits. It links electric, gas, and water meters to a data transmission network. These channels then feed customers’ power read-outs to a meter data management system via an AMI host.

Unfortunately, this relatively new technology is also what worries information security professionals. According to a report (PDF) published by Sandia National Laboratories, AMI is susceptible to multiple...(continued)

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