Letter Dave Lowry: The articles by your diplomatic editor on possible Russian cyber-attacks on British political parties during an election and alleged Russian cyber-attacks on government office and the Labour party in Norway focus on state interruptions. But cyber-infiltration can also be achieved by malevolent individuals and groups, including terrorists. The literature now warns that not just digital televisions are attractive to the CIA but smart meters, currently being rolled out to all households in the UK, may be infiltrated. One alarming academic article by Dheeraj Gurugubelli and Dr Chris Foreman of Purdue University sets out how a targeted attack on smart meters could potentially result in the shutdown of the power grid, disabling energy delivery systems. (They argue that “the compromise of even a single smart meter through focused attack or reverse engineering potentially provides access to the AMI network as a whole. This, coupled with the extensive use of multiple wireless technologies and geographic dispersion, results in an attack surface of unprecedented scale.” A more recent commentary in SmartGrid Awareness concludes “it may take an actual catastrophic hacking event where millions of smart meters are turned off in a way that they cannot be turned back on for smart meter proponents to acknowledge that these meters … are too dangerous to have ever been deployed.” Are ministers aware of this vulnerability to the UK national infrastructure?
Guardian 13th March 2017 read more »