Smart meters will either save you money, or destroy the country
So it's true. The government's scheme to fit smart meters in every home by 2020 is part of a grand conspiracy to plunge the nation into anarchy. They're telling you these electronic beasties are to help reduce energy consumption and send real-time usage data direct to utility companies. According to professional scaremongerers however, these meters could be hacked or used to cripple the country.
There are 17,500 of the meters being trialled in the UK right now, but there are around 40 million smart meters in use worldwide. There have already been a number of security breaches, including hacking of customer details, denial of service attacks and "suspected infiltration by foreign intelligence services". Why would Mossad want to know when you're popping the kettle on? They don't - they want to control your kettle, or at least ensure you can't switch it on.
Security firms in the US have already proved their vulnerability by developing worms that can simultaneously switch off hundreds of meters. A security boffin told the Telegraph: "The utilities network has been defined by the Government as a key part of the Critical National Infrastructure. The impact of any large-scale power cut could not only put lives at risk but be potentially paralysing for the economy. Whilst there are many potential benefits of smart meters that justify their introduction, we must be aware it also brings new risks and should therefore design in security from the outset to guard against this."
Carumba. And it's not just those who are paid to be paranoid that are being paranoid; Consumer Focus is worried about the privacy implications of the meters, which will collect data on energy consumption to help households identify which appliances are most expensive at which times of day. Another in-depth database to stick on a laptop and leave on a train, right there.