Home > Critical Infrastructure Security, SCADA Security, SMART GRID > A Worm Opens Door to Power-Grid Botnet

A Worm Opens Door to Power-Grid Botnet

A recent article in the Register(UK) quoted ioactive’s security experts that they managed to write the First Power-Grid worm, to be demonstrated in the upcoming BlackHat conference in Las Vegas.

The researchers tested about half a dozen smart meters and found that most of the devices ask for no encryption or authentication.

The worm will use the unauthenticated P2P update feature that comes with smart meters to send the malicious code.

Some US-Market numbers from (EnergyPulse) to think about:

-More than two million smart meters in field use today
-Additional 17 million devices on order by over 73 participating utilities
-Smart Meters once deployed are expected to last 10-15 years.
-Many of the smart meters currently in production are built using vulnerable hardware like the Texas Instruments MSP430 “shown below from ebay”

The smart grid will gain a lot of momentum in the next few years due to many political, environmental and financial incentives. efforts worldwide are underway to develop/update the required legal and technical frameworks. Yet there are some pressing debates and issues. for Example:

-Is it OK to build the smart meters in a foreign country using foreign components? ( Chinese Firm Huawei hits back at cyberspy claims )
-Should a government impose or name a certain communication encryption algorithm?
-Should SCADA vulnerabilities be publicized as regular PC vulnerabilities ? we don’t hear often about vulnerabilities in the medical equipment/industry …do we?
– Its BlackHat 2020 and the freedom hackers group has just announced several critical vulnerabilities in the hardware deployed at millions of homes.. when shall I expect the electricity guy to come and replace my vulnerable meter ?

TI MSP 430

TI MSP 430

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