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[ISN] Researchers Postpone Release Of Free Smart Meter Security Testing Tool
By Kelly Jackson Higgins
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
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