Smart electricity meters can be used to spy on private homes – NBC News

Smart electricity meters provide power companies with an accurate and streamlined method of monitoring, reading and controlling a home’s power usage. That convenience, however, comes at a steep price and could put homeowners’ safety in jeopardy.

Researchers examining the privacy implications of smart-meter technology found that one German provider’s devices contained vulnerabilities that allowed them to snoop on unencrypted data to determine whether or not the homeowners were home.

After signing up with the German smart-meter firm Discovergy, the researchers detected that the company’s devices transmitted unencrypted data from the home devices back to the company’s servers over an insecure link. The researchers, Dario Carluccio and Stephan Brinkhaus, intercepted the supposedly confidential and sensitive information, and, based on the fingerprint of power usage, were able to tell not only whether or not the homeowners were home, away or even sleeping, but also what movie they were watching on TV.

The problem, the researchers explained, stems from Discovergy’s monitoring frequency; the devices log homeowners’ electricity usage in 2-second intervals, a timeframe they deemed unnecessary and intrusive. The two-second reporting interval provides so much data that they were able to accurately chart power usage spikes and lulls indicative of times a homeowner would be home, asleep or away.

Carluccio and Brinkhaus presented their research in a presentation titled ” Smart Hacking for Privacy” at the Chaos Computing Congress in Berlin on Dec. 30. Flaws in Discovergy’s Web interface also enabled the researchers to send back rigged meter readings to the company, and to tap into the company’s servers and obtain a complete record of all the information collected by a home’s smart meter.


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10 Responses to Smart electricity meters can be used to spy on private homes – NBC News

  1. Pingback: Mainstream media admits smart meters are spying devices | ActivistPoster

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would gladly pay to have my old meter back. I got headaches and worse.. and moved sleeping away from it.. caused my entire peaceful life to be ruined in more ways than I can say here right now. I would say this whole forced lying ( over many things) has been the worst complicated frightening thing I have ever had to deal with, since it is my health and my home. What is left if you do not have those two things? (very upset)

  3. HI Pete,
    Here in Victorian Australia, they, the five foreign owned Electric Power Companies of Jemena and SP AusNet and Powercor and Citypower and United Energy Distribution have sacked more and more Electric Meter Reader Men, which is a disgrace and all aided by both the past Victorian Labor Government and this now also proving to be careless and without any human SOUL Victorian Liberal Party Government.

    All of these people pushing these dopy so-called smart meters or A.M.I digital remote reading electric meters onto their Victorian customers are just in it for the MONEY without giving a brass razoo about their electricity customers health or well-being in any way at all.

    Every dopey Type 2B Microwave Carcinogen Meter in Victoria needs to be removed and replaced by the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meter/s stolen from these Victorian Electricity Customers and the expenses of this change-over needs to be paid for by the five foreign owned Electric Power Companies.

  4. Eve says:

    Dear Sirs,

    Followiong instructions from you some time ago, I have not had any officials from Sp-Ausnet harrass me. I did have one employee ask for permission to have a look at the meter box (which was padlocked and a letter advising that due to medical reasons I cannot have a Smart Meter installed). I gave him permission to “view” the box and he took photographs of the meter box and the attached letter, and poplitely withdrew after my very large dog barked at him from behind the fence. He made a quick retreat and I have never seen anyone since.

    A neighbour from, up my street asked me whether I had had issues with SM and I told her I had padlocked the meter box and attached a hadnwritten letter from my doctor. She said they came to her property and told her she MUST have a SM installed because if she didn’t she would have to pay $150 penalty every quarter to compensate for the officials who have to come and read the meter. Is this correct, and can they charge a fee for services NOT rendered? If it is bluff, surely once we get a bill we do not have to pay that charge?

    What are the legal implications?

    Thank you for your assistance. SSM is doing a fabulous job.

    Kind regards,


    • HI Eve,
      No, you would be most unwise to pay any so-called Service Fee for actually reading the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meter you still have safely padlocked in your private Electric Meter Box. To pay such a fee would amount to Extortion and Blackmail as you are already having to pay for the three monthly meter read from the electric meter reader man.

      Please note that even those folks who have either allowed a smart meter or A.M.I Electrical digital remote reading meter on their property, have to by Law, allow a once a year read of the remote A.M.I or Smart Meter. So please don’t give into these, “Pirates of the suburbs,” who in the main, tell lie after lie, to get their own way. Remember most of these smart meter installer men are paid piece rate or by the number of smart meters they put in per day.

    • Paul says:

      I heard that a charge was going to be applied to those who do not wish to have a smart meter installed but it was supposed to be about $150 pa. This is OK with me provided they decrease my standing charge (0.75339 cents per day) by the same amount, as this charge is partly for the meter reader anyway (amongst other things). At that rate my standing charge, which is $275 pa should then decrease to $150. This would be fair and power companies should not be double dipping.

  5. Sick Of Their Lies says:
  6. At long last gentle readers,
    The truth is now coming out in the WASH, that is the filthy and frightening health problems now being made public at long last from the continuing Roll-Out of these Microwave Electric Meters now called A.M.I digital remote reading meters to keep you accurately up to date dear readers.

    The damage that these M/Wave meters had been doing and still are doing since the beginning of the Unlawful Roll-Out of these accursed Human and all life sickness making machines now classed as Type 2B Carcinogen Meters by the World Health Organisation = W.H.O is still mounting here in Victoria Australia and many other countries where the Roll-Out of these Smart Meters still has not been stopped.

    Thank goodness that England and the rest of the United Kingdom has at last stopped the Roll-Out of these human and all life Sickness Making Meters. Right now here in Victoria the Roll-Out needs to be stopped immediately, for every day that it goes on with every new M/Wave Electric Meter being forced on the Victorian public is yet another day of SHAME for this now proving themselves to be CRIMINALLY COMPLICIT Victorian Government who have been and still are unashamedly criminally in league with these five (5) foreign owned Electric Power Companies in Victoria. This is a terrible way for the past Victorian Labour Government to have treated us their Citizens and is still a terrible and criminal way that this now Victorian Liberal Party Government keeps on treating us citizens. Both of these Victorian Governments are guilty of these crimes against us the privately owned home and small businesses in Victoria, and both of these Victorian Governments will now be held Criminally LIABLE.

  7. pete says:

    Hi There, I currently have 2 small organic shops in Sydney, I was consistently amazed why my electricity bills kept going up, even though my hours went down..

    Enter the private Audit..

    I employed auditors to audit my supply, an Electrical company, large ones are best..I found I was being overcharged, sometimes by over 500%..this was not really a huge surprise to me, but it made me feel for small business operators, who were going broke due to massive Australia wide overcharging,by these Foreign owned companies..that’s right!, ALL our energy supply companies are foreign ..owned, meaning no allegiance to

    Its criminal, to have a supply of energy coming to your house, and the profits of that company, going to the Canadian Teachers Fund [125 billion assets under management.] and the Canadian Gov..both major shareholders, owners.. of Energy..”australia”

    The ”smart meters”, aren’t smart at all, they are digitised ways of overcharging, customers, because you will never know how much power you are using, and can simply have the digits changed by the supplier, because we have no ”watchdog”, due to the size of these corps running our energy supply, as evidenced by the massive overcharging going

    People don’t realise, we don’t own, our energy supply. It’s all been ..sold, so these companies, all overseas owned, want these ”smart meters”, to not only reduce costs, but to alter the way we can monitor..incoming in massive overcharging, easy ”readings” through digitisation, and massive overcharging..and create massive profits..

    Remember, this isn’t about technology, as in efficiency, its about profits, the power loss through atmospheric loss, the cables, power lines lose up to 50% of the power transmitted, making it extremely inefficient, and we are charged for what they send to us, not what we receive..

    Time to wise up, it’s not only the toxic effect of these criminal machines, it’s the con of putting them in, for ”efficiency”. Watch companies that don’t get audited, get a private audit. Say the bill is in ”dispute”, pay what you feel is reasonable, after you get the audit, and lets keep these companies, honest..its time to take back our..power, literally,Free Energy..dont get me staaaarted on that one, Nikola Tesla, where are you!.. Pete Melov..the great Power Ripoff..

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