Powerline-based home networks susceptible to hackers, say researchers at Defcon

Broadband over powerline (BPL) may offer service providers a great method to leverage existing home wiring to distribute various services, including emerging home automation and security services, but it can also be a hacker's paradise.

Speaking at this week's Defcon 19 hacker conference, two security researchers--David "Rel1k" Kennedy and Rob "Kc57" Simon--said they have devised tools that could enable hackers to penetrate BPL-based home automation and security systems.

"We have to bring more exposure to this attack vector," Kennedy said during the event.

The duo revealed that the key problem is that signals traveling over the BPL network aren't encrypted when they are sent over the wires, and none of the devices that connect to the network have to be authenticated.

This means that a hacker could connect a "sniffer" to capture the signals and then shut off an alarm, for example, so they could more easily break into a home.

For more:
- Venture Beat has this article

Related articles:
HomePlug Powerline Alliance endorses IEEE's hybrid home networking standard
CES 2011: Broadcom takes spot on HomePlug Powerline Alliance's board
HomePlug, WiFi Alliance jointly target smart grid opportunities
IEEE brings harmony to powerline standards

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