Are Smart Meters A Hacker Wonderland?

December 21, 2022

One reason to not upgrade your entire life to the digital cloud is an increased risk of hacking vulnerability. Interior and exterior security cameras, particularly baby monitors, are prone to hacking, but did you ever think smart meters for electricity and heating would be a target? Yahoo News reports that British households are being hacked by energy companies: “Switch By Stealth’: Alarming Rise In Homes With Smart Meters Being Cut Off Remotely.”

Smart meters are digital readers that monitor the amount of electricity a household uses, then sends the information back to the energy company. Smart meters provide energy companies with better information about energy consumption and billing. Smart meters also allow energy companies to remotely switch a customer’s payment method. The payment method is switched from debit payments to an expensive prepayment method.

What is worse is that when all the funds from the prepayment method are used up, the energy company will shut off the energy leaving a household without electricity and heating.

The British government is listening, but not acting quickly enough:

“It comes amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis, with the average yearly energy bill reaching £2,500 in October – a record high, and almost double the price it was last year. And energy bills are set to rise again in April, with estimates the average yearly bill could hit £3,500 per year. Campaigners are urging the government to honour their pledge to uprate benefits with inflation in the autumn statement next week, warning millions of low income households are already being forced into destitution without more support.”

It is understandable energy companies need to earn money to pay their employees, purchase energy, and keep the lights on, but why would they harm their customers? It would not be surprising if some bad actors wearing a white hat hack the smart meters and assist the people about to have their energy cut off.

Whitney Grace, December 21, 2022


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