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Security Businesses Power The Almighty Buck

FBI Says Smart Meter Hacks Are Likely To Spread 189

tsu doh nimh writes "A series of hacks perpetrated against so-called 'smart meter' installations over the past several years may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the FBI said in cyber intelligence bulletin first revealed today. The law enforcement agency said this is the first known report of criminals compromising the hi-tech meters, and that it expects this type of fraud to spread across the country as more utilities deploy smart grid technology."
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FBI Says Smart Meter Hacks Are Likely To Spread

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  • Business model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:13PM (#39621091)
    So the power company says "I know, let's make a bunch of money by using smart meters. That way we can fire all the people we used to send out to go read meters, and we can maximize our profits by having variable billing throughout the day."

    "Oh, and let's make sure to contract these meters out to the lowest bidder because after all, people are morons and if they don't realize that we're shafting them by getting them to pay more for their electricity, certainly they will never be smart enough to figure out our meters"

    "Oh shit, our meters can be hacked! These guys are CRIMINALS help help government HELP come save us!". That way we don't have to invest in more secure meters, or go back to the old meters. No, we can continue with minimal staff, continue with crappy hackable meters, and stick the cost of our broken business model to the government, the court system, and of course the prison system. Why should we have to share any of these unforseen costs from a business model we forgot to think through properly? Maximum profit is our GOD GIVEN RIGHT.

  • Obviously. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:20PM (#39621161)
    The problems started when we deregulated this industry. The smart meter debacle is just another symptom of a system that is rotten to the core. Where I live, power rates were heavily affected by the Enron fueled energy crisis and the rates have scarcely dropped since they were artificially driven up. Year after year the power company has been asking for $0.20 rate hikes because they know they can talk the PUC into giving them at least half of what they want. All the while claiming to be losing money while the parent company of the utility is making record profits.

    If the Utilities were regulated then they might have to spend a little more on the secure tech instead of the cheapest crap available. They would have a more vested interest in it since their single motivating factor is to provide service instead of to make as much money as possible.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @04:55PM (#39623031)

    Smart meters have other advantages you just don't hear often about. The reason you don't hear about them is because it invades your privacy.

    With smart meters, they can tell people when you're home, likely which holidays you observe, if you watch TV, if you work at night or day, so on and so. They sell your demographic information.

    Likewise, police and other officials are now working with utility companies to determine if you are growing pot, running a business out of your garage, so on and so.

    The fact they hope to reduce their billing costs associated with meters is their primary goal but the field is ripe for secondary profit avenues.

    If you are against smart meters you are against industry invading your privacy and are therefore evil.

  • by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Monday April 09, 2012 @05:48PM (#39623751)

    Goes to show you how easy it was to cheat the electric bill with a little skill, resources and patience and lack of ethics.

    Fixed that for you.

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