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Computer hackers have begun targeting power plants and other critical operations around the world in bold new efforts to seize control of them, setting off a scramble to shore up aging, vulnerable systems.
Safe, accurate, and reliable, these MET Labs-certified meters incorporate a full suite of operating features with an integrated, software-controlled disconnect switch, a comprehensive information display, and Echelon's robust, bidirectional power line signaling technology. Each meter, which is automatically managed by an NES Data Concentrator or an ANSI IP Meter, can also act as a repeater to reach other meters. This lets it create a power line-based meshed network of meters that exactly matches the real topology of a utility’s residential distribution secondary network.
To demonstrate his attack, Davis crafted a piece of malware that could self-replicate to other meters, allowing an attacker to shut them down remotely. In simulations, Davis showed that if his worm were released in an area where all the houses were equipped with the same brand of meter, the worm could spread to 15,000 homes in the space of 24 hours.
Levy (1984) suggests that there is a "code of ethics" for hacking which, though not pasted on the walls, is in the air:
# Access to Computers - and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works - should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
# All information should be free.
# Mistrust Authority - Promote Decentralization.
# Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.
# You can create art and beauty on a computer.
# Computers can change your life for the better.