Security experts from UKs’ intelligence agency GCHQ say that millions of homes running on smart electric meters are vulnerable to Cyber Attacks. As the agency has raised its concerns over the security of the meters last week, Ministers have taken a note of it and are about to act after discussing an apt solution with the Electricity authorities.
Cybersecurity Insiders has learned that the current smart electric meters installed in almost 8 million homes in the UK could enable hackers to steal personal details and defraud consumers by tampering the bills.
The source also added that the officials of the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) have learned that some consumers have already managed to tamper their meters in such a way that they pay for just 20% instead of paying for the full. Source adds that a few smart electricity consumers have managed to divert their billing details on others name so that they just pay a minimum.
Authorities suspect that hackers from South African Continent are behind this cyber breach, but are only willing to disclose the details when fool-proof evidence is available. An investigation on this issue has already been launched and the details can be expected by May this year.
In 2014, the government of UK issued a public statement that it wants to digitalize every home in its country with a smart electric meter. But so far it has managed to fix only 8 million out of 27 million households under the £11 billion scheme.
Technically they were designed to help consumers keep a track of their energy usage on a digital note and the meters were meant to send the readings on an electronic note to suppliers, removing the need for manual visits for meter reading and bill generation.
But with the latest news popping out that these smart meters are at the risk of being hacked, the government has blocked the rollout of the second generation of smart meters, known as SMETS 2. SMETS meters were meant as a common tracking source for electricity and gas supplies.
Note- Smart Electric meters are already being used in regions like Spain, Mexico, some metro cities of United States, China, Dubai, some nations belonging to European Continent, in Indian Metro Cities, and in Australia. And cyber attacks on energy companies via the electric meters are almost being reported from almost all the above-said regions.