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[ISN] Researchers Postpone Release Of Free Smart Meter Security Testing Tool



http://www.darkreading.com/advanced-threats/167901091/security/vulnerabilities/232500808/researchers-postpone-release-of-free-smart-meter-security-testing-tool.html

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Dark Reading
Jan 31, 2012

Smart grid researchers pulled their talk and planned release of a new security assessment tool for smart grid meters during the ShmooCon conference after a vendor voiced concerns about the research.

Don Weber, a senior security analyst with InGuardians, had planned to introduce on Saturday evening a new homegrown tool that tests for both vulnerabilities and functionality in smart grid meters -- via the devices' infrared ports.

"At the eleventh hour, we had a vendor with some serious issues about it -- nothing specific, just some general stuff they wanted to take some time to look at a little more. In the interest of responsible disclosure, we took this under advisement," says Jimmy Alderson, chief operating officer of InGuardians. "We feel the issues are not a real concern ... but we respect [the vendor] and want to play ball. We will still do the talk after we assuage their concerns."

Alderson says there were no official threats of legal action by the vendor, which he declined to name. InGuardians had not planned to name any vendors in Weber's presentation, either. Legal threats and vendor pressure are nothing new in the security research community: There have been multiple occasions where vendor backlash has forced researchers to pull their presentations at Black Hat, DefCon, and, last year, at TakeDownCon.

[...]


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