Smart Grid Security

One of the biggest concerns for smart grid developers is cyber security due to the reliance on IT
communication networks. While the current grid is not immune to energy theft, fraud and malicious cyberattacks, the smart grid poses new security issues. It is more likely now that theft, malicious attack and fraud will be committed by people working remotely from a laptop several miles away, even in a different country, than someone physically manipulating meters. This makes it difficult to predict where attacks will come from. Since the grid was first implemented in the US residents have stolen energy through various methods such as bypassing meters, using strong permanent magnets to slow meters down and inverting meters for a few days so that they run backwards. Committing malicious disruptions to the grid is relatively easy.

There is also a range of potential problems from the improper use of the information. It is possible that an employee at a utility could use information from a smart meters to determine when customers are out of their house or have purchased new electrical items, and thus when to steal the owners possessions or stalk them. To reiterate this point, Google has recently come under fire in the UK because its street view cars captured the username and passwords of emails from households using wireless networks. If this went into the wrong hands, it would be relatively easy to commit large scale credit card fraud, for example.
Utilities or other companies could use the information for marketing purposes or use consumption behaviour data to introduce non-competitive pricing. By introducing very low pricing targeted towards the individual consumer to drive competitors off the market.