Letters to the Editor

Smart grid stealing our lives

Well it has finally come out that hydro and gas providers can access more about us than just our hydro usage. LaDee Homm, business strategy analyst expert with Oklahoma Gas and Electric Energy Corp explained that through analytics and other sources, the company has learned quite a bit about their customers, including who they are, their demographics and their credit score.

Any new appliance that you buy has been manufactured with an RFID chip in it that not only "talks" to your smart meter but information about you is collected by the company that built the appliance. These companies then have the right to sell your information to the highest bidder. These appliances can also be hacked. Not too many weeks ago a virus was spread throughout email programs and made quite a mess. The source was proven to be a refrigerator that had been hacked into. Every smart appliance connects to the internet and can therefore be hacked into. Smart grids have already been hacked and software to help anyone hack the grid is now on sale to the general public

Sept 26,2012, CNET. Telvent Canada says someone sneaked past its internal firewall, installing malicious software and stealing files related to control software it makes that's used to manage the electric grid in various countries.

CBC news, Jan 2,2014. "Smart TVs, smart fridges and other internet-connected home appliances, ranging from medical equipment to security cameras, are widely expected to become a "magnet for hackers" says Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security.  "One of the concerns is that hackers logging into such appliances may be able to get information about who is home at a given time of day," noted Fortiguard, adding, "This is bound to give cyber criminals new and nefarious ideas around how and when to rob someone’s home."

Kathy Read

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