[funsec] Oh, please ...

Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu
Sun Oct 23 14:14:40 CDT 2011

On Sat, 22 Oct 2011 15:44:29 PDT, "Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Hannah" said:

> How horrendous!  If someone can crack the encyption, figure out the band being 
> used, and figure out how to trigger the meter dump, they can find out whether
> you've been using a lot of electricity!

But that's not the actual problem.  Unless it reveals that I use *so* much
electricity that I'm probably growing pot plants in the attic, a one-shot
number doesn't reveal much. When it gets interesting is if I do it every hour
or every 15 minutes. I can build up a nice plot of energy usage - and then use
that to infer other things, like when you're running major appliances, when you
go to sleep, when you wake up, when you leave the house, and when you return.

Suddenly it becomes a lot more interesting data for the enterprising burglar
or stalker.

> (Surely it would be easier to read the dials on the existing meters ...)

Yes, but if I'm trying to figure out what hours you are and aren't at home so I can
burgle you or otherwise do something nefarious, it's a heck of a lot safer to
ask your electric meter every hour from a remote location than sneaking up
to your house and looking at it every hour.

Plus I can easily automate naving a PC do a network probe every hour, even when
I'm asleep or cooking dinner or something.  Getting my PC to sneak up to the
meter every hour and read the meter is a bit of a challenging robotics project.


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