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Smart Electricity Meters Can Be Dangerously Insecure, Warns Expert ( 163

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Smart electricity meters, of which there are more than 100 million installed around the world, are frequently "dangerously insecure," a security expert has said. The lack of security in the smart utilities raises the prospect of a single line of malicious code cutting power to a home or even causing a catastrophic overload leading to exploding meters or house fires, according to Netanel Rubin, co-founder of the security firm Vaultra. If a hacker took control of a smart meter they would be able to know "exactly when and how much electricity you're using," Rubin told the 33rd Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg. An attacker could also see whether a home had any expensive electronics. "He can do billing fraud, setting your bill to whatever he likes [...] The scary thing is if you think about the power they have over your electricity. He will have power over all of your smart devices connected to the electricity. This will have more severe consequences: imagine you woke up to find you'd been robbed by a burglar who didn't have to break in. "But even if you don't have smart devices, you are still at risk. An attacker who controls the meter also controls the meter's software, allowing him to cause it to literally explode." The problems at the heart of the insecurity stem from outdated protocols, half-hearted implementations and weak design principles. To communicate with the utility company, most smart meters use GSM, the 2G mobile standard. That has a fairly well-known weakness whereby an attacker with a fake mobile tower can cause devices to "hand over" to the fake version from the real tower, simply by providing a strong signal. In GSM, devices have to authenticate with towers, but not the other way round, allowing the fake mast to send its own commands to the meter. Worse still, said Rubin, all the meters from one utility used the same hardcoded credentials. "If an attacker gains access to one meter, it gains access to them all. It is the one key to rule them all."

Comment Re:and tomorrow (Score 1) 262

*yawns* Point out ANY definition that defines censorship by WHO does it, and not by the specific actions being done.

Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time this ignorant statement was made, I'd be one rich mofo.

Censorship is defined by action, not by who does it. It being acceptable or not is at least partially defined by who does it. It's an elementary difference.

Comment Is "denier" defined well enough, specific enough? (Score 1) 680

I mean, I've seen the term used in many contexts - towards those who actually deny that global warming is happening, to those who just need clarification on various arguments, and those who ponder how responsible humans actually are. In short, the term has been used and abused so much that it really needs refocus if it is to be taken seriously, IMO.

Comment Re:Delete Everything (Score 1) 207

Of course, I mean the legally obtained files, but the fact that allegation does not automatically equate to being infringing, and there are just so many things where you can draw an analogy to the real physical world, and the rights that come even for example in a case like where you rent an apartment - you don't "own" the space outright, but still have a lot of rights.

Comment Re: Maybe they should work harder at cheat-proofin (Score 1) 250

Ok, but none of those things are illegal, and shouldn't be. Claiming DMCA infringement is disingenuous.

Why shouldn't Blizzard have a means to deny people from engaging in this conduct on their servers? Do they not have rights?

*facepalms* Um wut? Saying that suing the people making cheats under the DMCA is dangerous is not saying they can't keep people from cheating on their servers. What kind of stupid guff is that?

Comment Re:So what happens if (Score 1) 482

If there is a medical emergency, you'd better believe the parent would need to know/want to - maybe there are things about the medical history that the baby sitter does not know that are important, for example. OR maybe the parent just wants to know that their kid(s) are safe, and being treated/handled correctly. Maybe the parent is more assertive about getting the right medication, and the nurse is a dumbass who keeps tying to give them either the wrong dose, or the entirely wrong medication (and it could kill them). That almost happened TO MY DAD last year.

Comment Re: Game (Score 1) 192

It's fascinating to me that this mischaracterization of the meaning of "steal" has hung around for as long as it has.

IS it a mischaractarization, really? I mean, look we're talking about something that in the physical world has a very specific meaning, AND a very specific set of psychological and physical effects that fail to be present when something is digitally copied . I doubt, for example, that you'd have the same sort of horror if someone copied your laptop, and walked away with it, than you would if they actually just outright stole it. I realize I am not the best at articulating my thoughts, so if I am unclear as to what I am tying to say, say so. :D

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