Tagged with "smart grid"
Hacking Expert Joins Urgent Call to Halt Smart Grid Tags: Anonymous David Chalk hacking Marin MEDIA meters Santa Cruz smart grid terrorism thepowerfilm.org

Hacking Expert Joins Urgent Call
to Halt Smart Grid


Take Back Your Power

Published on Apr 12, 2012

Cyber security expert David Chalk weighs in on the smart grid and its outright lack of security.



Hacking Expert David Chalk Joins Urgent Call to Halt Smart Grid:
"100% certainty of catastrophic failure of energy grid within 3 years unless course is changed"

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The vulnerability of the energy industry's new wireless smart grid will inevitably lead to lights out for everyone, according to leading cyber expert David Chalk. In an online interview for an upcoming documentary film entitled 'Take Back Your Power' (www.thepowerfilm.org), Chalk says the entire power grid will be at risk to being taken down by cyber attack, and if installations continue it's only a matter of time.

“Unless we wake up and realize what we're doing, there is 100% certainty of total catastrophic failure of the entire power infrastructure within 3 years”

“We're in a state of crisis,” said Chalk. “The front door is open and there is no lock to be had. There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking - if not already infected - with some sort of trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated.”

“One of the most amazing things that has happened to mankind in the last 100 years is the Internet. It's given us possibility beyond our wildest imagination. But we also know the vulnerabilities that exist inside of it. And then we have the backbone, the power grid that powers our nations. Those two are coming together. And it's the smart meter on your home or business that's now allowing that connectivity.”

Chalk also issued a challenge to governments, media and technology producers to show him one piece of digital technology that is hack-proof.

“The computer companies that are involved, the manufacturers that are involved, bring forward a technology and I will show you that it's penetrable,” said Chalk. “I'll do it on national TV, I'll do it anywhere. But I can guarantee you 100% that there is nothing out there today – nothing – that can't be penetrated.”

Chalk's strong words come amidst increasing reports of the smart grid's fatal insecurities, even from the governments and energy companies who are forcing their hand with the smart program. “Every endpoint [meter] is a new potential threat vector,” according to Doug Powell, manager, SMI Security, Privacy & Safety, for Canadian utility BC Hydro.

And in an interview with energynow.com, former CIA Director James Woolsey was also highly critical of energy policy makers, whose plans received multi-billion dollar funding as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. “The so-called 'smart grid' that is as vulnerable as what we've got now is not smart at all,” said Woolsey. “It's a really, really stupid grid.”

But there's more. In an audit released in January, the US Inspector General Gregory Friedman was also highly critical. “Without a formal risk assessment and associated mitigation strategy, threats and weaknesses may go unidentified and expose the ... systems to an unacceptable level of risk,” Friedman wrote.

Energy officials knew of these weaknesses but approved plans for the projects anyway, auditors said. “The initial weaknesses had not always been fully addressed, and did not include a number of security practices commonly recommended for federal government and industry systems.”

And security is not the only technologically-based obstacle faced by smart grid proponents. In March, alarm bells were rung following current CIA Director David Patraeus' confirmation that governments will use wireless smart appliances to spy on citizens. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters,” Patraeus said at a meeting of In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm. He added that this will prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.”

With strong criticism to the smart grid now coming from many directions, energy corporations and governments now have the challenge to explain to an increasingly unapproving public why they continue to fast-track smart grid installations.

Citizen groups and organizations throughout the US, Canada and Europe have launched legal actions to stop the installation of smart meters. They cite issues such as cost increases, health risks, privacy concerns, grid vulnerability and the lack of democratic process. In Chalk's home province of British Columbia, Citizens for Safe Technology (www.citizensforsafetechnology.org) and the BC Coalition to Stop Smart Meters are leading a growing challenge.

Options for opting out of the smart metering program have been announced in markets including California, Maine, Vermont, Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut, Quebec, the UK and the Netherlands. In the US, several regions including the counties of Santa Cruz and Marin are enforcing outright moratoriums.

“Unless we wake up and realize what we're doing, there is 100% certainty of total catastrophic failure of the entire power infrastructure within 3 years,” said Chalk. “This could actually be worse than a nuclear war, because it would happen everywhere. How governments and utilities are blindly merging the power grid with the Internet, and effectively without any protection, is insanity at its finest.”

The full video interview with David Chalk can be seen on www.thepowerfilm.org. The feature film documentary 'Take Back Your Power', which critically examines the smart grid program, will be released online this spring.


Josh del Sol, 604-629-7945
Producer, Take Back Your Power

Lori Patrick, 778-384-1601
Executive Assistant to David Chalk


Red Ice Radio - Joshua Hart - Stop Smart Meters!
Category: Technology
Tags: smart meters spying military operation utility companies wireless technology smart grid green movement danger

Uploaded by RedIceRadio on 17 Dec 2011

Joshua Hart is Director of Stop Smart Meters! He has worked in the energy industry, as a transportation planner, environmental advocate, and freelance journalist. Growing out of the grassroots group Scotts Valley Neighbors Against Smart Meters, started in June 2010, Stop Smart Meters! has now evolved into an advocacy, media outreach, and direct action organization providing activism consultation and advice to dozens of local groups sprouting up who are fighting the wireless 'smart' meter assault. We'll discuss how the smart meter debacle is a huge threat to our health, safety, privacy, and wallet. Also, how it is an opportunity for spying, centralized power and corporate control. Joshua tells us why Smart Meters are a false solution to the green movement. He'll get into the specifics of how these meters operate. We will talk about the dangers of wireless technology, the smart grid propaganda and the inappropriate ways utility companies are demanding and enforcing the installations of these meters. Later, Joshua tells us about a utility company that has been spying, following and attempting to get info from his organization as though it is a military operation.



Majority of Americans Do Not Understand Smart Grid Says New Survey Tags: smart grid

Majority of Americans Do Not Understand Smart Grid Says New Survey

The U.S. electric industry faces an interesting challenge – more than three-quarters of Americans do not recognize or understand the industry's best available technologies to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and curb global warming – the smart grid and smart meters.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans claim to know little or nothing about the smart grid, while 76 percent lack knowledge or understanding of smart meters, according to results of the latest Market Strategies International E2 (Energy + Environment) Study, a national survey designed to gain an understanding of American's attitudes and opinions about energy and energy-related issues.

However, the study also shows that Americans are supportive once the technologies have been explained to them.

  • 75 percent feel implementing smart grid/smart meters should be a priority over the next one to five years
  • 67 percent support their utilities implementing these technologies (when costs to consumers are estimated at $6-$10 per month). To underscore the support, the results vary only slightly at lower or higher monthly cost estimates.

"There are very clear benefits to these technologies," said Jack Lloyd, a vice president in the Energy Division at Market Strategies. "Still, the lack of knowledge of the smart grid and smart meters could hinder their implementation and delay the energy and environmental benefits they can provide," he said.

There remains room for education about both technologies. According to the survey:

  • 34 percent see them as a means to provide detailed tracking of energy usage
  • 7 percent see smart meters as a way to help consumers be more efficient users of electricity
  • 2 percent see them as a way for utilities to overcharge customers.

"The evidence is clear. The electric industry must make smart grid and smart meter education a top priority if it hopes to implement the technologies successfully across the U.S.," said Lloyd. 

This latest version represents the ninth wave of the long-term survey. For this most recent version, Market Strategies interviewed a national sample of 1,168 adults between Oct. 14 and Oct. 25,2010.
Respondents were recruited via an online panel to reflect key demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. The data also were weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity and census region to bring the sample into alignment with the U.S. Census.



The advent of the smart grid in Europe and the US is of particular interest to Middle Eastern utilities.

Three leading meter manufacturers – Iskraemco, Itron and Landis+Gyr – have completed a testing phase that proves each firm’s smart meters are fully interoperable with meters built by the other two companies.

The move is a major development in the smart meter market, and stands to answer a call from the major utilities to provide universal definitions and communications standards.

Interfaces on the three companies’ smart meters allow customers to mix and match different suppliers and should boost the development of smart grid applications. The scope covers a full end-to-end solution, from the Home Area Network to the Wide Area Network and the interface to utilities existing IT infrastructure.

Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr believe that the initiative paves the way towards the deployment of smart metering in line with the recently passed EU electricity market Directive, which dictates that 80% of EU households must be fitted with smart meters by 2020.

"The development of these interface specifications is important to the utility industry because it will allow for true interoperability and enable customers to invest with confidence" said Oliver Iltisberger, senior vice president Energy Management Units for Landis+Gyr.

"Up to now we were mainly engaged in defining standards. This additional effort is necessary to convert these standards into truly interoperable products."

To accelerate the objective, the companies have each started prototyping their application interface development in compliance with interoperable device interface specifications (IDIS) to be completed by the end of this year. This will facilitate the creation of a true plug-and-play environment for the future.

According to a former US Energy Department official, the advent of the smart grid has a particular application in the Middle East, where relatively new or non-existent infrastructure can be more easily renovated to include new technologies than elsewhere in the world.



A smart grid is a form of electricity network utilising digital technology. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital communications to control appliances at consumers' homes; this saves energy, reduces costs and increases reliability and transparency. It overlays the ordinary electrical grid with an information and net metering system, that includes smart meters. Smart grids are being promoted by many governments as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues.

A smart grid is made possible by applying sensing, measurement and control devices with two-way communications to electricity production, transmission, distribution and consumption parts of the power grid that communicate information about grid condition to system users, operators and automated devices, making it possible to dynamically respond to changes in grid condition.

A smart grid includes an intelligent monitoring system that keeps track of all electricity flowing in the system. It also has the capability of integrating renewable electricity such as solar and wind. When power is least expensive the user can
allow the smart grid to turn on selected home appliances such as washing machines or factory processes that can run at arbitrary hours. At peak times it could turn off selected appliances to reduce demand.

Other names for a smart grid (or for similar proposals) include smart electric or power grid, intelligent grid (or intelligrid), futuregrid, and the more modern intergrid and intragrid.

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