[Rushtalk] smart meter hacking tool
notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
Mon Feb 11 19:26:00 MST 2013
Researcher releases smart meter hacking tool
Termineter designed for researchers and penetration testers, SecureState says
By <http://www.computerworld.com/s/author/241/Jaikumar+Vijayan>Jaikumar Vijayan
Computerworld - Security consulting firm SecureState today released a
new open source hacking tool that it claims will let security
researchers and penetration testers verify the security of electric
utility smart meters being installed in millions of homes around the country.
The tool, called Termineter, is available for public download from
SecureState's website and will be demonstrated at the BSides security
event in Las Vegas next week. The company had earlier sent out a
stripped down version of the tool to a limited number of individuals.
Security consultancy InGuardians had planned to publicly release
details of a similar tool called OptiGuard at the Shmoocon security
conference a few months ago. The company however pulled the talk at
the last minute in after a unnamed smart grid vendor and several
utilities expressed concern that the tool would allow hackers to
exploit vulnerable smart meters.
InGuardian is scheduled to
details of its tool at the Black Hat security conference also being
held in Las Vegas next week.
Spencer McIntyre, a SecureState researcher said the goal in releasing
Termineter publicly is to raise awareness of security issues
pertaining to smart meters and to get vendors of such products to
address those issues.
Power companies and utilities will be able to use Termineter to
identify and validate internal flaws that make the meters vulnerable
to hacking and tampering, he said.
The tool will give independent security researchers a way to probe
such meters for potential access control and user authentication
weaknesses, he said. "[Termineter] will give them low level access to
smart meters to do security assessment of the device," regardless of
the vendor of the device, McIntyre said.
Termineter supports ANSI C12.18 and ANSI C12.19 standards, and can
communicate with smart meters via the infrared ports on each device.
The tool will let penetration testers and researchers get direct
access to the data on the meter.
Currently, Termineter modules allow testers to read and write raw
data on a device in order to get it to respond in specific ways,
McIntyre said. Researchers can extend Termineter's capabilities to
build their own applications around it, he said.
Smart meters are a crucial component of the smart grid. The devices
are designed to collect energy consumption data from homes and
transmit it back to power distribution companies for billing, network
and demand management purpose. The technology also lets consumer view
their energy usage patterns in near real time to help them better
manage home energy use.
Utility companies around the country are in the process of installing
millions of smart meters in homes to better manage energy
consumption, respond to demand better and eventually offer tiered
rating plans based on a consumer's energy use habits.
<http://thatswaytoomuch.info/>notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
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