Smart Meters Are Laughably Insecure, Are a Real Danger to Smart Homes

Smart Meters Are Laughably Insecure, Are a Real Danger to Smart Homes

  • January 5, 2017
  • 05:31 AM

Rubin at CC3C

Most smart meters that are installed, or are soon to be installed, in hundreds of millions of homes around the world are woefully insecure and can be easily hacked by a remote attacker to alter energy consumption levels, hack other smart devices in the user’s home, or even cause the meter to explode.

These are the findings of Netanel Rubin, a researcher with Vaultra, a security firm specialized in smart device security. Rubin presented his findings at the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress held last week in Germany.

Governments pushed for smart grids but got dumb meters instead

In his presentation, available at the end of this article in video format, Rubin paints a grim picture where governments around the world, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, have adopted legislation that pushes smart meters into the homes of million of people.

Because of the push to make energy grids “smarter,” there’s now a need for smart meters, with more than 60 different smart meter manufacturers more than happy to provide products to energy companies across the world.

Unfortunately, as is the case in any competitive market, these smart meter vendors are cutting corners in order to provide the cheapest and feature-full products, often sacrificing device security measures to do so.

Rubin says that most smart meters available on the market today are woefully insecure, mainly by the vendor’s design choice.

Rubin at CC3C

Smart meters use GSM to talk to the energy provider, and ZigBee to connect to the user’s home network and allow the user to inspect his energy consumption levels. The problem is that both protocols have been known to be vulnerable for years.

Attackers could very easily spoof GSM communications and control smart meters across a city. This is possible because GSM does not support encryption, allowing a determined attacker an avenue to hack smart cities.

Energy vendors fail to secure their smart meter networks

In the cases where GSM is replaced with the combination of GPRS and A5 protocols, Rubin says that this is still not enough, as both protocols could be brute-forced, and the attacker can get hold of the encryption key with ease.

Even worse, Rubin says, is that in cases he analyzed, most power grid companies use the same encryption key for all smart meters across a city. An attacker that manages to hack one smart meter could very easily escalate his access to all smart meters belonging to that energy provider.

This is also possible, as Rubin explained to the audience, because energy vendors also fail to segment their networks, managing their customers in one giant LAN.


Are ‘smart’ meters dangerous? Man wins round in fight with electric company

Are ‘smart’ meters dangerous? Man wins round in fight with electric company

By Matt Miller |
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on February 10, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated February 10, 2017 at 7:07 AM

At least for now, a Philadelphia man has won a round in his fight with the electric company.

It came this week when a Commonwealth Court panel ordered the Public Utility Commission to give Antonio Romeo a chance to prove his claim that a “smart” electric meter PECO wants to install at his home isn’t safe.

This is something of a David and Goliath story, since Romeo doesn’t even have a lawyer.

Romeo began loading his slingshot by refusing to allow PECO workers onto his property to install a smart meter required as part of a state program to reduce energy consumption. He claims such meters are dangerous because they can catch fire.

PECO fought back and won rulings from an administrative law judge and the PUC requiring Romeo to give in. Then came the Commonwealth Court opinion by Judge P. Kevin Brobson.

Brobson agreed with the PUC in tossing out Romeo’s claim that federal law allows him to fend off PECO’s meter installation.

However, Brobson concluded that the PUC dismissed Romeo’s safety argument a bit too quickly. The commission rejected Romeo’s contention about meter fires on grounds that he didn’t personally provide any proof to back it up.

Romeo did provide links to two news articles about the supposed safety issue, the state judge noted. Brobson ordered the PUC to hold another hearing focusing just on the danger claim to give Romeo the opportunity to substantiate his concerns.

Screenagers (Official Trailer)



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Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.

In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can
empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

Changing Mix of Brain Tumors in U.K.

Microwave News - A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Changing Mix of Brain Tumors in U.K.

GBM Going Up, Other Malignant Glioma Going Down

The incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most virulent and deadly type of brain cancer, is going up in the U.K., while the incidence of other types of malignant brain tumors are declining, according to some newly published raw data.

Take a look at the data plots in our latest post and then see if you still think brain tumor rates are steady and not changing, as many public health officials and the mainstream media would have us believe.

See the dramatic new plots here.


Louis Slesin, PhD

Editor, Microwave News

155 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075, USA • +1 (212) 517-2800 • +1 (212) 734-0316

Lost Arts Radio Show #105 – Special Guests Barrie Trower and Virginia Farver

Lost Arts Radio Show #105 – Special Guests Barrie Trower and Virginia Farver

  • Broadcast in Health
  • 1 week ago
  • Host

On this Sunday’s show, we bring you two of the super stars, Barrie Trower and Virginia Farver educating the public on the issue of EMF pollution and what we could do to avoid as much of its damage to our bodies, minds and emotions as possible. Radiation from smart meters, cell phones and all wi-fi devices is creating the growing blanket of EMF smog that interferes with our bodies’ delicate electrical fields and intercellular communications, affecting every one of our biological functions. Even plants, animals, insects and other life forms are negatively affected, as Josh del Sol documented in his great movie ‘Take Back Your Power’ (

Once we get educated to the point of realizing we have become dependent on using technology that has extremely destructive effects on our health and even on our thoughts and emotions, the question comes up, what can we do about it? Suggestions are made to “minimize” our use of these harmful technologies, but the best we can hope for is to slow the destruction, not turn it around. Plans to blanket the world with cell towers are moving forward. Real solutions are needed immediately.

Imagine for a minute a fantasy that, in America and other parts of the world, political leaders were emerging that did not want to sell out to the global rulers, but really wanted to help their people get back their national sovereignty, freedom, prosperity and health. Hey, wait a minute, that’s really happening! So we need to educate these receptive leaders in areas like health effects of EMF that they may not fully understand, and give them practical options that could help rid their countries and the world of these health-destroying technologies, without losing all the positive benefits and conveniences that they provide us.

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