The Register, 3 November 2011

A UK government minister has reassured Parliament that upcoming deployments of smart meters will be secure.

The assurances by junior energy minister Charles Hendry follow admissions by a senior civil servant at a House of Commons Public Accounts committee on Monday that the government's £12bn plan to roll out smart energy meters in the UK by 2019 might yet be shelved, depending on the outcome of a review next year. The review will focus on the business case for the deployment of smart meters but security concerns also exist.

Last year Ross Anderson, professor in security engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, warned that smart metering would introduce a "strategic vulnerability" that might be exploited by hackers to remotely switch off elements on the gas or electricity supply grid. Software errors introduced during an update also pose a risk.

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