Following the news that smart meters could leave British homes vulnerable to cyber-attacks, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab commented below.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab:
“Today’s homes include more smart devices than ever before, including smart meters. The main benefit of such connected domestic devices is convenience as they are able to send data automatically; in the case of smart meters, data on energy consumption.
But if smart meters are open to attack from cybercriminals, this should concern us all. Even if there are no personal financial details at stake, a criminal could falsify a bill so that a customer would be paying extra. The energy company would receive the correct payment and would be none the wiser about the surplus payment skimmed off by the criminals.
This leaves the question – ‘smart’ for whom? The benefit for energy companies is clear: they don’t need to send someone to read the meter, or wait until the customer does so. But a customer can already log in and check their bill at any time, so there is very little benefit in having a smart meter. The convenience is all on the side of the power company, whilst consumers are could potentially bear all the risk of having these devices infiltrated.
This is extremely worrying, given that the government plans to roll these devices out across the country – which would essentially leave every home owner or energy user vulnerable to attack. Unless customers can be sure that the smart meters are secure, what’s the incentive to install them?”
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