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Power Hackers: The U.s. Smart Grid Is Shaping Up to Be Dangerously Insecure

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Credit: John Hersey / Scientific American

What's not to like about the idea of a "smart" electricity grid that can work at top efficiency? By wrapping power transmission lines in advanced information technologies and the Internet, a smart grid would help integrate alternative energy sources into the power supply and optimize the flow of power to each consumer. It would vastly improve the reliability, availability and efficiency of the electric system. As currently envisaged, however, it's a dangerously dumb idea.

The problem is cybersecurity. Achieving greater efficiency and control requires hooking almost every aspect of the electricity grid up to the Internet. Connecting what are now isolated systems will make it possible to gain access to remote sites through the use of modems, wireless networks, and both private and public networks. And yet little is being done to make it all secure.

From Scientific American
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