In many cases, private companies can do this much faster than the police. “A lot of law enforcement-based digital-forensics labs are just swamped,” said Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar, a professor of computer science at Purdue University. “Almost every type of crime—whether it’s homicide, arson, or a computer crime—is going to have some sort of digital evidence associated with it.” As a result, she says, the backlog of devices and data awaiting analysis at police labs can stretch from months to years.
One alarming academic article by Dheeraj Gurugubelli and Dr Chris Foreman of Purdue University sets out how a targeted attack on smart meters could potentially result in the shutdown of the power grid, disabling energy delivery systems. (They argue that “the compromise of even a single smart meter through focused attack or reverse engineering potentially provides access to the AMI network as a whole. This, coupled with the extensive use of multiple wireless technologies and geographic dispersion, results in an attack surface of unprecedented scale.”
“Unless they have been independently tested, we don’t know that they have made a correct choice and implemented a good algorithm, and use appropriate methods to generate and distribute keys,” according to Eugene H. Spafford, a computer science professor at Purdue University.