• Cisco buys Arch Rock, beefing up smart-grid business

    Cisco is beefing up its smart-grid and data center businesses by acquiring San Francisco-based Arch Rock, a maker of a system for collecting information from mesh networks of IP-based wireless sensors, routers, and servers; On Wednesday, Cisco announced a deal with meter maker Itron to develop communications products that use the Internet Protocol, rather than proprietary protocols for sending information from meters back to utilities

  • Smart Grid offers target-rich opportunities for hackers

    SCADA systems are vulnerable to hacking, but the smart grid is even more vulnerable; security experts at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last week warned that the accelerated deployment of smart-grid technology could leave critical infrastructure and private homes vulnerable to hackers; hacking may come in a benign form — customers might simply figure out how to lower their electricity bills by manipulating how much energy their meters say they are using; hacking may also have more sinister aspects: large-scale attacks may also be possible, and the smart grid’s serious vulnerabilities make it possible to shut down the power supply to an entire city

  • Smart Grid cybersecurity market to reach $3.7 billion by 2015

    Spending on security for the smart grid will represent approximately 15 percent of total smart grid capital investment between now and 2015; cumulative investment in the security sector will reach $21 billion between 2010 and 2015, with annual revenue reaching $3.7 billion by 2015; among other incentives, one key condition for smart grid funding awarded last year under the federal stimulus program was that the awardees incorporate strong security into their smart grid initiatives

  • Solar-powered robot crawls on aging power lines to inspect the grid

    The U.S. grid infrastructure has two characteristics: it is vast and it is aging; now there is a cost-effective way to examine thousands of miles of power lines: a new, solar-powered, 140-pound, six-foot-long robot; the robot uses rollers to clamp onto and move along a line; it can maneuver past towers, known as pylons, using cables built into newer towers or retrofitted onto old ones

  • Experts say smart meters are vulnerable to hacking

    In the United States alone, more than eight million smart meters have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly sixty million should be in place by 2020; security experts are worried that this rush to deployment of smart meters ignores serious security vulnerabilities: the interactivity which makes smart meters so attractive also makes them vulnerable to hackers, because each meter essentially is a computer connected to a vast network

  • Smart grid attack likely

    The smart grid’s distributed approach exposes these networks and systems, especially in the early phases of deployment; the communication among these networks and systems will be predominantly wireless and it is assumed they will be sniffed, penetrated, hacked, and service will be denied

  • NIST request for input on Smart Grid Interface

    NIST launches a blog seeking public comment and discussion on three aspects of Smart Grid implementation; considers further online discussions in the future.

  • NIST issues expanded draft of its smart grid cyber security Strategy for public review

    The coming Smart Grid will offer efficiency and savings, but also new cybervulnerabilities; NIST has issued the second draft proposal of its smart grid cybersecurity requirements; the document identifies more than 120 interfaces that will link diverse devices, systems, and organizations engaged in two-way flows of electricity and information and classifies these connections according to the risks posed by a potential security breach

  • Utilities to bolster smart grid cybersecurity

    Annual spending on cybersecurity by electric utilities will triple by 2015, driven by investment in equipment protection and configuration management; between 2010 and 2015, Utility companies will invest more than $21 billion on cybersecurity

  • Researchers work to help secure the U.S. power grid

    The U.S. Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) team explores the Smarter Grid — secure and reliable technology involved in the underpinnings of the U.S. electrical power infrastructure; as power grids are upgraded and connected to online systems to increase efficiency, they become vulnerable to malicious attacks and hackers; the TCIPG team will develop cyber security tools and technologies to ensure that power supplies are not disrupted

  • How vulnerable is the smart grid?

    The smart grid is a theoretically closed network, but one with an access point at every home, business, and other electrical power user where a smart-grid device is installed; those devices, which essentially put the smarts into the grid, are computers with access to the network; in the same way attackers have found vulnerabilities in every other computer and software system, they will find vulnerabilities in smart-grid devices

  • Smart grid runs into trouble over powerline standard, I

    The U.S. government has awarded $4 billion in grants to build a smart electric grid; appliance makers need an easy, low cost way to plug into the grid; today they face as many as a dozen wired and wireless choices, most of them far too expensive and high bandwidth, focused on carrying digital music and video around the home rather than on helping save energy