Reply to post: On-Off Magic

Idiot admits destroying scores of college PCs using USB Killer gizmo, filming himself doing it

GrapeBunch Bronze badge

On-Off Magic

"It’s an interesting thought-experiment to compare this with the “remote” equivalent of e.g. attacking devices with ransomware ... "

Ransomware is not a remote equivalent. A remote equivalent would be: finding a vulnerability in an electric so-called Smart Meter, taking over said Smart Meter, times several millions of them at once, then using the Smart Meter bot-net to destroy equipment. I haven't studied home appliances, but I doubt for example that a fridge is protected against the effects of powering on and off every two seconds for hours. The equipment might "burn out" and that's a good outcome for the victim, as a fire in the same equipment might be more dangerous, as in "burn up your flat block (apartment building)". All started by a kiddie, or a national cyber attack unit, whether for "fun" or as a low-cost adjunct to a military campaign (Herr Hitler had to use expensive bombers and bombs to spread similar destruction on the people of Britain). Or just because "we can".

If the installation avails more "Smart" features, such as turning the oven on and off, more mischief is possible.

Before we blame the victims, remember that in many jurisdictions, refusing to use a Smart Meter comes with a $ penalty. In my own jurisdiction, the penalty approximately doubled the electricity bill. But then after a while the analogue meters are no longer legal, regardless of how clean the copper contacts are, they have an expiration date. And factory-new analogue meters are no longer available, in our jurisdiction anyway. Then finally you're stuck with a Smart Meter. Off-grid? Even the extreme measure of going off-grid is illegal in many jurisdictions.

The solution? Become a board member of an electrical utility, award yourself a big bonus for bogus "savings" occasioned by the use of Smart Meters in an entirely fictitious way in your jurisdiction. Then retire to a mansion in the tropics, where they probably don't enforce the use of Smart Meters.

So, amongst the epithets (one of which begins with "eej") of the villain of this story could be added "Trailblazer". Sick humour noted.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019