Overheard: Word of the Day

Apr 18 2012   8:21PM GMT

Overheard talking about smart meter hacks and PKI

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) components — in particular, the smart meters that are responsible for measuring and managing the delivery of electricity use for more than 110 million households and companies in the United States — rely on secure communications channels in order to transmit usage data. Many AMI equipment manufacturers rely on PKI for identification, authentication and establishment of secure communications channels.”  – Seth Bromberger

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is smart meter hack.  If you live way out in the country, you may still have an old-fashioned spinning mechanical electrical meter, but you are fast becoming the exception. Ironically, the very features that motivate power companies to install smart meters also make them vulnerable to new kinds of attacks. According to an FBI bulletin, smart meter hacks may end up costing utility companies about $400 million per year.

Keep your eye out for a new kind of service provider who will independently verify the security of AMI components and the smart networks they use.

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