Week in Smart Metering

When it comes to cybersecurity, 2016 must be the year of proactivity, writes Rose Bundock, digital editor of Metering & Smart Energy International
Published: Wed 13 Jan 2016

The market has had a shock awakening from its holiday slumber with the news that cybersecurity analysts believe the utility world has experienced its first successful malware attack

In this context, ‘successful’ denotes a negative result. 

Ukraine utility Prykarpattyaoblenergo suffered a six-hour power outage for around 80,000 customers with a breadcrumb trail leading bad to hackers remotely switching breakers.

The attackers also blocked technicians from detecting the attack as well as bombarding the utility’s customer service centre with phone calls to block real customers from alerting Prykarpattyaoblenergo of the blackout.

One US security expert described the attack as leaving the utility “hamstrung on all fronts”.

The motivation for the attack is likely political but for the utility sector, the significance is what can we learn from the hack. 

Now that the threat is real as opposed to perceived, 2016 must be the year of being proactive to cybersecurity threats, rather than reactive.


More from Metering & Smart Energy International 

Smart meters Ghana: ECG teams with telecoms company on rollout

In West Africa, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) said this week it has engaged in a contract with local telecoms firm Telco. The deal means the two will implement a smart meters project in Volta, a region in eastern Ghana.

Illinois Energy Innovation Board issues grants to further smart meter literacy

US Smart grid Consumer Education Fund, Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation ( ISEIF) has this week announced that it will issue grants to further Energy Literacy and Home Energy Management. 12 organizations to receive grants to further smart electric grid education including Home Energy Management

Sri Lanka begins AMI project to cut peak demand

In Asia, Sri Lanka’s Power Ministry last week announced the start of an automated metering infrastructure (AMI) programme. The initiative is power utility Ceylon Electricity Board’s measure to reduce its peak power generation charges by shifting consumers to use electricity during off-peak hours, according to news source Lanka Business Online.

OVO Energy contracts Trojan utilities for supply of smart metering solution

In the UK, Trojan Utilities has in December, 2015 announced that it has secured a contract with energy retail solutions provider, OVO Energy to deliver its smart metering solution. According to a company statement, the £5.5m worth contract will include Trojan Utilities improving gas and electric meters for OVO Energy’s consumers.

UK smart meters: O2 to deploy NetCracker billing solution

In the UK, M2M company, NetCracker this week announced a tie-up with digital communications provider O2 to deploy its revenue management solution for AMI. According to a statement, the partnership means O2 will use NetCrackers’ revenue management solution through a hosted managed services model to provide rating, billing and mediation capabilities for the UK’s smart metering programme across 53 million devices.