Life in the 1500's


Active Member
The subject gives pause when you realize how dependent we are on the infrastructure.

More than a few days' interruption in electric utility supply (refrigeration, food preparation, transportation, public safety, etc.) or water supply (hydration, hygiene, sewage) will render an urban area uninhabitable. A significant Internet outage has consequences ranging from the merely inconvenient to the cessation of commerce.

Apart from those survivalist CTers who are prepared for an extended independent existence, we hope that the delivery of our utilities is robust and hardened against accidental and man-made threats. Otherwise, "Life in the 1500's" is more than just a thread title.

PS But for those Europeans, this would not even be a concern. After all, without these technologies, we wouldn't have to worry about their absence.


Active Member
Some of the proposed smart grid implementations lack encryption and, in some cases, authentication for turning the power on and off remotely at the meter. Security practices have advanced further than this to allow such hazardous attack vectors on our nation's power grid. The idea of allowing that is elementary and should be criminal. Turning off the power to large parts of the grid could land us quickly in what feels like the 1500s.

For those of you that are interested in reading further, can read more about it here.


Active Member
So with the "smart grid," and the acknowledge problem of privacy intrusion, we now compromise the very integrity of our supply.

"Many of the security vulnerabilities we found are pretty frightening and most smart meters don't even use encryption or ask for authentication before carrying out sensitive functions like running software updates and severing customers from the power grid."

The idea of allowing that is elementary and should be criminal.
Absolutely. The concept of "standard of care" today makes hardening electric meters a no-brainer. Given what is at stake, any manufacturer who avoids it is reckless and irresponsible.


Senior Member
That advertisement for IOActive is slightly biased, but I agree that more security is needed to protect the power grid.

Be wary of your information sources. ;)


Active Member
I don't know this outfit so it was not an endorsement, and I respect the CT community enough never to do that.

Having had half a career in information systems security I have seen many great insights come from unexpected places. This thread has been enough to cause me to contact my utility and get the facts on their smart grid program, both policy and equipment.