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Smart Grid May Also Carry IPv6 Traffic

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the wires-are-wires dept.

Networking 70

itwbennett writes "Kevin Fogarty is blogging about new specs outlined by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) that outline the requirements for 'any network designed to carry data instead of just electrons.' What's needed, in short, is 'a Common Information Model for the format of data in the network, interfaces to allow it to go from one device or substation to another, exchanges between control centers and communications protocols that will add security to the net.'"

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Growth rate? (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934806)

Surely data traffic is going to grow much faster than the grid, and so it makes more sense to separate the two?

Re:Growth rate? (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934848)

Also, this "add security to the net" thing has me worried. Don't law enforcement have the capability to shut down power to buildings etc.? Will this give them the capability to shut down internet access too -- perhaps even for an entire block where riots are taking place?

Re:Growth rate? (2, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935056)

And you don't think can do this already?

Re:Growth rate? (2, Interesting)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935704)

Without getting too detailed, shutting down the internet for an entire block is more difficult than you might think. You either need to physically stop the signal by breaking the circuit or having some sort of jammer on the wire, which would require interfering with multiple kinds of wire (cable, phone, etc). Or you need to cooperate with the internet providers to suspend individual user accounts or stop routing to their local node.

This still wouldn't stop cell data access unless they shut down entire towers, and even then there could be someone who gets a decent 802.11 signal from an AP a few streets down.

All in all the time involved, amount of participation, or cost of equipment and installation would be way too high for simply shutting down internet for a precise region.

Re:Growth rate? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935898)

>>>you need to cooperate with the internet providers to suspend individual user accounts or stop routing to their local node.

Bingo. That would also include the wired lines to those cell towers.

Re:Growth rate? (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33942988)

Without getting too detailed, shutting down the internet for an entire block is more difficult than you might think.

You are obviously thinking of technical ways to shut down the Internet. Violent methiods quite often trump high tech methods. Wireless internet? Big fscking stolen truck. DSL/Cable? Big fscking stolen truck.

Re:Growth rate? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052146)

You're thinking too hard about technical solutions. Just kill power to the CO for hard wire access and set up signal jammers for wireless.

Re:Growth rate? (1, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935058)

Will this give them the capability to shut down internet access too -- perhaps even for an entire block where riots are taking place?

They've have to knock out power along with the internet. If you don't have power you probably don't have internet access anyway ... unless you have a broadband/WAN card in your laptop, which probably has a battery in it.

Re:Growth rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33937128)

If you don't have power you probably don't have internet access anyway ... unless you have a broadband/WAN card in your laptop, which probably has a battery in it.

Or maybe, say, a UPS on your WAN routers...

Re:Growth rate? (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935962)

What kind of security would have to be added? Try doing a Vamp Tap on a high tension line with no body around to care. I double dog dare you. *Evil Grin*

- Dan.

Re:Growth rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936384)

Security would be to ensure that firmware updates are genuine. Current 'Smart'Meters allow you to update your neighbor's firmware/bill/power.

Re:Growth rate? (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934896)

No, and don't call me Shirley.

Re:Growth rate? (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935684)

Plus, there's nothing better than a single point of failure...

Wouldn't that create electrical noise? (1, Funny)

stalkedlongtime (1630997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934824)

And isn't high frequency electrical noise carried over high power lines a threat to our health?

http://areyoutargeted.com/fighting-back/public-relations/making-your-case/eh-and-health/ [areyoutargeted.com]

Re:Wouldn't that create electrical noise? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934856)

And isn't high frequency electrical noise carried over high power lines a threat to our health?

http://areyoutargeted.com/fighting-back/public-relations/making-your-case/eh-and-health/ [areyoutargeted.com]

Probably not but it is a threat to radio communications, esp HAM radio; unless the "smart grid" will use shielded power lines only. Sounds like another stimulus project.

Re:Wouldn't that create electrical noise? (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935410)

Probably not but it is a threat to radio communications, esp HAM radio

It's been proven over the past decade of BPL deployment that the threat is at least partially in the opposite direction... BPL works great as long as you are a minimum of a half mile away from all transmitters including AM, FM, TV, ham radio, CB, cellphone, any land mobile including cop cars, airport, aircraft, coast guard station/harbormaster yard, railroad... Yet the deployment equipment is quite expensive so you need a high population density, urban city, etc.

So, just find a neighborhood in Manhatten or Hong Kong that has a zillion people per sq km, and has electricity, but somehow has no radio services whatsoever anywhere near by and BPL will totally shine!

Re:Wouldn't that create electrical noise? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935942)

>>>radio communications, esp HAM radio;

Why just HAM? It would also affect other VHF services too - like TV channels 2-13 and FM Radio and DRM (digital radio mondiale). Probably AM radio and shortwave radio would experience noise too, since they seem to be susceptible to everything.

Might I be the first to say... (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934826)

what could possibly go wrong? I can't wait to see the next stuxnet [wikipedia.org]

Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (2, Informative)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934846)

It carries "waves". The individual electrons don't really get very far, but the 60Hz electromagnetic wave that carries the power, that goes far.

All this is, is, hey, we carry a powerful 60Hz signal, how about we carry lower-power, high frequency signals too? And all the associated complexity of actually sending and receiving high frequency signals, a devil of many details.

--PM

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934870)

It carries "waves".

For God's sake man, which is it: carrying, or waving?

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935038)

It carries "waves".

For God's sake man, which is it: carrying, or waving?

Clearly it's carrying on by waving goodbye to the electrons.

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935050)

Chillax man.

Too much fussing about can cause snakedick! [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935106)

For God's sake man, which is it: carrying, or waving?

More fun to ask if its a particle or a wave carrying the energy... Or is that, carrying the mass... And can you tell both the location and momentum of an electric company service truck simultaneously...

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33940496)

And can you tell both the location and momentum of an electric company service truck simultaneously...

Given I have no idea at all where the electric company (also phone and cable) trucks are and I've been waiting all day, I'm going to say it's possible that I inadvertently gleaned very precise information as to its momentum.

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935068)

All this is, is, hey, we carry a powerful 60Hz signal,

Don't forget high voltage DC, HVDC.

The power companies have vast fiber networks. A piece of glass solves a lot of lightning, grounding, and electromagnetic interference problems. However, you have to be careful with the conductive steel leader line.

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935388)

Actually it doesn't carry those waves, it only guides them. The electromagnetic fields are mostly outside the wires.

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935976)

I think it's a "detail of many devils".

just saying...

Re:Grid doesn't even carry electrons exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949346)

It carries "waves". The individual electrons don't really get very far, but the 60Hz electromagnetic wave that carries the power, that goes far.

All this is, is, hey, we carry a powerful 60Hz signal, how about we carry lower-power, high frequency signals too? And all the associated complexity of actually sending and receiving high frequency signals, a devil of many details.

--PM

Transmiting power over a long wire is much harder that transmitting data over fibre.

no it won't (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935042)

Broadband over powerlines keeps popping up. It isn't going to happen. Yeah, it sounds like a good idea on paper... You've already got all those copper lines carrying electricity, why not throw a signal in there and do double duty? Except that it just doesn't work. I don't know how many times I've seen it here on Slashdot.

And IPv6? Not any time soon. Maybe not ever. Yeah, I know, we're running out of addresses. NAT is horrible. I know. And I'd love to roll out IPv6 today just for the hell of it (because I don't have enough work to do already). But folks have been talking about IPv6 for years now.

Re:no it won't (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935134)

Luckily the rest of the world is not limited by your arrogance. Who gives a fuck if you don't think IPv6 will ever be wide-spread? Or if you're sceptical of power grids also carrying data?

Re:no it won't (2, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935316)

But folks have been talking about IPv6 for years now.

And many of those folks such as myself have been quietly deploying... I strongly urge my competitors to take your stance and bury their heads in the sand. I love it. Please make more /. posts encouraging my competitors to not innovate. The more people left behind, the further ahead I'll be.

Or if you're sceptical of power grids also carrying data?

He actually got that right, perhaps accidentally, he just didn't post any sources or reasoning. BPL has been nothing but a miserable failure. The idea is eternally seductive, but the outside plant and the electromagnetic interference environment makes it an economic non-starter. It's kind of like smell -o- vision or 3d tv, wouldn't that be nifty, but it just doesn't fit the market.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_communication#Internet_access_.28broadband_over_powerlines.29 [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_broadband_over_power_line_deployments [wikipedia.org]

Re:no it won't (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936514)

But folks have been talking about IPv6 for years now.

And many of those folks such as myself have been quietly deploying... I strongly urge my competitors to take your stance and bury their heads in the sand. I love it. Please make more /. posts encouraging my competitors to not innovate. The more people left behind, the further ahead I'll be.

In which exact ways are you innovating a published standard? Are you genuinely seeking to take credit for the whole of IPv6? Al Gore, is that you??

Re:no it won't (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33937138)

Please do us a favor and look up "innovate" in a dictionary. Innovation is inventing and/or applying novel techniques.

Re:no it won't (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33937502)

Yeah, I'm aware. Again, we're not talking about some hypothetical abstract here. We're discussing IPv6. Assuming you could innovate something incredible that gave you a competitive advantage, what, then, would still be compatible with that innovation? For if it is still covered by the spec, how could it possibly be new?

Re:no it won't (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33938534)

Simply updating a network or product to support IPv6 which previously did not is indeed innovating. There's no need for IPv6 to be new in general, just locally to a given regime.

Re:no it won't (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33938702)

You're picking at nits, and not genuinely making any points. If you really believe that adding IPv6 support is innovation enough to warrant the OP's comment, then I suppose we'll just have to agree that we use that word with differing connotations.

Re:no it won't (0, Flamebait)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935358)

Luckily the rest of the world is not limited by your arrogance.

Arrogance? Or realism?

Who gives a fuck if you don't think IPv6 will ever be wide-spread?

I never said anything about wide-spread. I said "Not any time soon. Maybe not ever." We've been talking about IPv6 for how long now? A decade? Longer? And it's always got to happen right now because we're all out of addresses! But it doesn't happen. And we keep limping along as-is. And I see no reason to believe that'll change any time soon.

Or if you're sceptical of power grids also carrying data?

The fact of the matter is that embedding a signal in a power line turns it into an antenna. Wreaks havoc with the local EM band. It isn't really a matter of opinion. Physics is like that.

Re:no it won't (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935482)

I said "Not any time soon. Maybe not ever." We've been talking about IPv6 for how long now? A decade? Longer? And it's always got to happen right now because we're all out of addresses! But it doesn't happen. And we keep limping along as-is. And I see no reason to believe that'll change any time soon.

A quote from the CEO of Countrywide or any other recently failed financial institution (all of them?):

House prices always go up. Always have, always will. Sure, in the past they went up and down, but they won't go down now. Not any time soon. Maybe not ever. We've been talking about the housing bubble popping for how long now? Years? Longer? But it doesn't happen. And we keep limping along with subprime mortgages, liar loans, ninja loans, option mortgages, adjustable rates. And I see no reason to believe that'll change any time soon.

Surprise!

Re:no it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935216)

The article is not clear on this, but I would hope that any smart grid would include a fiber optic strand to carry the control signals. Otherwise this really needs to be DOA, as standard Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) would kill shortwave radio (even long distance AM signals too) as we know it, and probably give sub dsl performance. Indications are that the power companies ginned the results of BPL tests to show that it was better than it was.

Re:no it won't (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935560)

Well, let's see, there are now 12 /8's left, the last 5 will have a different policy applied to them (much smaller chunks and only for transition purposes).

There have been 14 /8's allocated just this year, how long do you think this will last ?

Yes, people will be able to sell you some used IPv4-address block, but IPv6 will be pretty much free.

Good luck to you.

Re:no it won't (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935624)

So, yes it will take a few years before IPv4 is going to be expensive to come by. But it will happen.

Re:no it won't (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935602)

I think the linked article is just confused, and this story isn't about broadband over powerlines at all. Check the NIST link [nist.gov] : it's about setting network protocols for the exchange of information needed to link smart power nodes, so they can do load balancing or whatever. I don't see anything there that says they wouldn't just have fiber optic data links to send information, and power lines to send power.

I could be wrong here, but I checked the links in the story and couldn't find any confirmation that anybody really thinks IP over powerlines is part of the Smart Grid.

Re:no it won't (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33938366)

You're completely right, and thanks for adding this clarification. If you want to get a bit more of an idea of what is involved, start looking here [nist.gov] .

Re:no it won't (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936030)

It's not happening. The "smart grid" is extremely low point-to-point bandwidth. You'll get better performance with dial-up.

But the smart grid is already ipv6, it's already here. That's doesn't mean it will be connected to the internet as a whole or that you can directly address a meter or transformer from your browser. It's just a very straight forward networking standard to use; highly scalable to billions of devices, easily interoperable with currently available routers & servers, etc.

Re:no it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936804)

Yup, as soon as I scanned the summary, I thought, "Oh, great, the BPL wolf again in geek's clothing." BPL is merely a solution looking for a problem (and a market to make money, piggybacked on existing, gov't-subsidized copper), and which brings with it a host of RFI issues. We still can't completely tack down the loose ends in the cable TV copper infrastructure that are jamming the ham, cell and aviation bands; what makes people think that power lines, which are even LESS band-tuned, will be better behaved? A few FCC wonks with cash stuffed down their pants apparently did at one point, but we've fought tooth and nail to set their greedy butts straight again...

Re: IPv6... Unfortunately, it's like metrication in the United States: People agree that it's a good idea in theory, but nobody wants to go through the effort and expense to relearn and restandardize on it before seeing their neighbors do so as well.

Re:no it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33939490)

There are millions of smart meters already deployed that use private IPv6 networks. It's not a fact that's advertised around much but IPv6 is here to stay in the smart grid networks.

Net Neutrality? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935046)

Just wondering if these new standards comply with Net Neutrality? Or we are to assume they will?

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936540)

Just wondering if these new standards comply with Net Neutrality? Or we are to assume they will?

Well, if they don't, then they'll be just one more competitive option to use during the selection process, won't they?

Where have I heard this before? (2, Interesting)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935204)

I swear I've heard this before...
    oh yeah, phone lines... I think it went something like this:
Exec 1: We already have lines run, why should we bother with a second set of lines for control signals say from pay phones?
Exec 2: I can't see of a reason, let's do it
Exec 1: we all get bonus for saving ourselves $BIGNUM bucks.
Exec 2: Sweet! ... Time Passes...
Captain Crunch: *2600Hz whistle* now can I get free long distance calls?
Execs 1..N: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.....

hence the development of SS7.

Now if we can get this, which network is going to be "phoning home" to report electrical usage? even if the traffic is sufficiently encypted, and authenticated, what happens when someone decides to start DOSing their electrical meter? that and, eventually, and i stress eventually, any encryption can be defeated. it's only a matter of time before someone figures out how to fake electrical readings from the new smart meters, or better yet, hacks and publishes the hack, for certain brands of meters.

Re:Where have I heard this before? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936580)

Interference may be an issue, but existing accounting practices can already mitigate most of what you're talking about. And privacy, as far as I know, doesn't really exist with the electrical company. Give me your address, and I can tell you what you paid a month ago. I may have to be pretending to buy the property to get them to tell me, but that's not exactly difficult.

It should be the "Smarter Grid" (5, Insightful)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935322)

First, the power grid has not been dumb. It has been pretty smart for decades. The Smart Grid is a major upgrade, but it isn't a scratch start from a dumb basis.

The existing grid includes sophisticated control centers and sophisticated microprocessor-based protective devices that sense faults and make corrections. Power grid equipment runs into problems all the time (such as equipment failure, storms, and curious animals) and handles them most of the time without putting the lights out.

The grid has always had two infrastructures: an electrical infrastructure (power lines, transformers, generators, etc.) and an information infrastructure. Decades ago, the information infrastructure was rudimentary. Now it is much more extensive. With the Smart Grid it will be even more extensive and will have much more interface to systems at the customer site. However, major upgrades will be needed to integrate massive increases in intermittent renewable energy such as wind and solar, to manage pluggable electric vehicles, and to vastly improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and improve reliability. That will require standards. That is what the Smart Grid is doing.

Work on some of the Smart Grid standards, including the ones recently forwarded to FERC for rulemaking, started as long as 25 years ago. Those standards need to be deployed. Others will need to be developed.

Second, the Common Information Model is an abstract data model that covers the utility enterprise. It has little or nothing to do with transmitting data over power lines. That is called Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) and (like real estate having three factors in prices -- location, location, and location) it has three problems: interference, interference, and interference. To make BPL work you have to solve the interference problem.

Re:It should be the "Smarter Grid" (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33938436)

Glad to see you got modded up. This guy is spot on. Smart Grid work has been primarily focused on operations (with planning a distant second), and now people are just beginning to realize that if you have two way communications below the aggregator level then that's a lot of data that's going to be coming in, and we'd better make sure we have some standards around how it's structured. This is also becoming big news in cyber-security and reliability circles (e.g. NERC).

Smart grid is not about data over power lines (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935396)

I currently work developing smart appliances and load reduction devices. The smart grid is about sending commands and control information to devices that consume (or generate power) on the grid. For example the Texas deployments use a wireless mesh network ( typically 900MHz) to communicate between electric meters, the meters then use ZigBee (2.4MHz) to communicate with devices with in the home. Typical communication is: the time, current price of electricity, future prices for electricity and load reduction commands. None of this information is sent over powerlines. Also the messages are only routeable in a very limited sense and they don't use IPv6 addresses.

Even if the messages did have IPv6 address, do you really think the electric utilities would allow fully routeable traffic on their networks? All the bandwidth would immediately be sucked up with bittorrent and script kiddies would be trying to turn on their neighbors air conditioner in January.

Many Smart Grids already use IPv6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935466)

Many Smart Grids are already deployed with IPv6.

The Silver Spring Networks [silverspringnet.com] devices do, for one.

We've had them deployed over a year. 100% IPv6. Even in outlying areas where we cannot get direct fiber close enough for the mesh, we still use IPv6 tunnels over EVDO networks.

Out of context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935786)

EE here.

I'm pretty sure TFA took something out of context. The smart grid (at the consumer level) has always required some form of communication. There's dozens of proposals for signaling methods, from voltage/frequency shifts all the way up to full-blown IPv6 mentioned here.

It is not meant to supplement/replace the internet. This is simply a way of communicating to each individual device. There is no (little) concern about security, because everything goes to your (hopefully) optional devices.

For example, a typical data exchange might be:
Substation: "Load is 80%, time is afternoon... Turn off/limit water heaters."
Your water heater: "Ok... Done"
Your toaster: "..." ...

Substation: "Load is 70%, time is afternoon... water heaters back on."
Your water heater: "Ok... Done"
Your toaster: "..."

This isn't exactly sending multimedia files back and forth at GB/s rates... but you would ideally like to support complicated messaging to hundreds of different types of appliances. The sheer number of devices is almost unfathomable, hence IPv6 is a worthwhile protocol if you want to address individual devices. The message protocol will/should be extremely simple though, so bandwidth could probably be in the sub-kBps range.

Again, security isn't a really important issue. Your power meter would monitor your energy usage and the commands being sent to your appliance. If your energy usage doesn't drop when it's commanded, there's no economic gain for you. Sure you could try and hack your power meter, but that's done anyway. The hack is going to be 'noisy' in the sense that some discrepancy will clue the power company in sooner or later. Something like your meter records a 2 kwH power drop, yet the substation's meter for your neighborhood doesn't see it. Even if you get away with something in the short term it's pretty irrelevant, how many people will risk getting their power permanently cut off over a few bucks a month?

STUPID GRID all eggs in one basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936072)

Notice how the government talks about "customer" in the last decade? (Oh yeah maybe some of you haven't been alive this long)

You see it everywhere now. Look at the two fascist replacements of the FCC mission statement. Find the original FCC mission statement, compare them, you will instantly see where this smart grid is going, and why the spectrum is being mis-managed. They have changed "public interest" to "customer value interest" In other words, having ol joe in his garage who how to expose fraud or invent new energy can buy a new phone CHeaP! Bay-Bee What's being lost is ol joe's technology or project, or message or 1st Amendment. Here jo have two soup cans and a kite string, You have FREE SPEECH bay-bee! While if you look at broadcast in the "public spectrum" (that ol pesky original mission statement), it's 98% commercial owned! Which makes the FCC 100% mission failure. 2% of the spectrum for the military of course...

That's just one agency.

This crap is *****ng everything now!

Food - FDA and it's Codex
Elections - Electronic vote tabulation devices break the HUMAN public's chain of custody.
Spying - Telco's and FIOS splitters

Customer, Customer, Customer.

Why is any of this a problem? Why should you care about an anonymous post on slashdot?

I'll tell you why. These people swore oaths. To protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Now the Constitution is intermittent. The intermittent constitution of 2010's world allows corruption and oath breaking to infest, and be hidden with state secrets. There's no government of the people, when the people can't choose or control government. It *****ng doesn't say, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press(CORPORATE OWNED MEDIA); or the right of the (CUSTOMER)people peaceably to assemble, and to petition(E-FILE, E-MAIL) the Government for a redress of grievances."

Furthermore, there's no such thing as customer oversight.

Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936110)

Make sure the 'Smart Grid' [wikipedia.org] is interoperable with the Internet and all data networks.

Simplifies things for the attackers, doesn't it?

How about they design some security into it first, eh? Just sayin...

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936400)

Man, that was close! Those dopes over at NIST never even THOUGHT about security. Fortunately you were here to remind them to consider it, and they have now hastily added a whole standard on 'cyber security' to their proposals. Somehow they managed to back-date it so it looks like they did that BEFORE you pointed it out, but we all know better, don't we?

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936622)

Oh, I see, so rather than an infallible 'air wall', we get to rely on their hubris to protect us. Excellent!

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936978)

An air wall is infallible? Please explain. It seems to me that whether or not the grid is hooked up to the internet (and there is no indication from these documents that it would be), whenever communication is occurring interception/spoofing is always possible.

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33937214)

SCADA systems used to be airwalled, and since they started getting connections to the Internet, attacks have begun. Before the connections, SCADA systems mostly were accessed remotely via modem, still susceptible but somewhat more difficult (after systems started getting actual passwords and stuff, but that was a while ago.

Since they are planning on supporting IPV6, I assume that Internet connections will be inevitable, if for no other reason but cost savings.

Airwalled systems are not as easily attacked by unconnected assailants. Think it through.

ps - My original comment was inspired by the apparent interest in making sure the Smart Grid would be interoperable with the Internet, but little or no discussion of the inherent security risks. Maybe designing in the security first, and then adding in Internet connectivity, would be a good strategy? Naw, we should do it all at once.

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33937470)

But the GP didn't say airwalls are more secure or harder to break into, he said they were INFALLIBLE. Then he accused others of hubris.

Nothing in the NIST standards says anything at all about connecting to the internet. It is all about how devices on the grid talk to each other. Now, if you had to come up with a protocol to be used for millions of devices to communicate with each other which makes more sense - invent a whole new protocol, or start with an existing one?

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33939456)

That would depend on the requirements, wouldn't it?

You seem to be assuming that IP is the only choice for device communication. That's not even true or useful today. There is a whole lot of world out there that doesn't use IP and for good reasons.

Let's start with the requirements, ok? Secure, efficient, fault-tolerant, scalable, and interoperable?

Wow. Token-Ring meets those criteria, along with many, many others.

(I'm hoping ARCNet doesn't get on the list...)

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33940624)

Huh? What do token-ring and IPV6 have in common? Token-ring is a physical network specification, like Ethernet. IPV6 can run just fine on top of either of those protocols. IPV6 says nothing at all about the physical connection between the devices.

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33942746)

My point. If the criteria is as I took the liberty to assume, Token-Ring works fine. So does ArcNet, though speed might be an issue. Appletalk I dunno. The InterPlanetary Network might present some challenges.

The Smart Grid project seems to still be working out the PHY layer.

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33938466)

Re:Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33939500)

A lot of it looks pretty generic to me. We have time to see how it goes, apparently.

city networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33940162)

Why is no one proposing that old wifi modems, routers, cellphones and other wifi devices be reconfigured to support ad-hoc network for at least community based FREE network coverage?
It would seem to me that this would be the most resilient and have the greatest up-time in a power outage or other emergency.
Also file sharing would be much easier and not congest pay based network services.
Anyone could then allow a portion of traffic to go out to through their own Internet provider at their discretion.
Since this network is not isolated like the corporate networks, the traffic flow would not require expensive transfer between networks when transferring between community based hosts. ie: no internet would be needed for local file sharing, VOIP. Also local caching would be much greater and effective.

My guess is that pay based ISP's would not like this as it would reduce their value as minimal local network access would naturally be free.
But in this economy and in the name of recycling and reducing waste and expense, I think the government (speaking for the people) should support this (enforce ISP's to provide hardware to allow for it after end-of-life).

Something smells funny, here. (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33943808)

"Any network designed to carry data instead of just electrons" will not only be locked in a specific protocol standard, but will also be designed "for security" - that is, to only allow "good data" and not "evil data". The definition of "good" and "evil" will of course be up for sale to the highest bidding MAFIAA.
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