The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) issued a warning on Monday about the threats posed by using smart electric meters that the agency claims do not come from countries with a credible legal environment, for example, China.
The notice applies to electricity distribution system operators who are obliged to consider threats while choosing their suppliers when purchasing technologies.
“We are issuing this warning in response to the need to install smart meters in electricity distribution systems. This obligation is imposed on distributors by European legislation. Now, it is necessary to start the purchase of smart meters and the associated procurement procedures,“ explained NÚKIB head Karel Řehka.
According to him, a new smart meter means increased security risk. The described threats are allegedly so huge that they could lead to a nationwide blackout.
According to NÚKIB, the threat lies in the technologies that do not come from the European Union, the European Economic Area, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or NATO.
“The notification affects the energy sector, which is key to meeting the basic state needs, and all other sectors, all branches of human activity in the Czech Republic, even with a possible cross-border impact,” the office reported.
However, there is no danger of a sudden replacement of already installed electricity meters, or an unplanned disconnection from electricity for a household or company. According to NÚKIB, already used devices cannot cause the damage described in the warning.
NÚKIB has now issued a warning because the tender for the purchase of smart-metering technology is imminent to make it possible to install these devices within the deadlines set by the European Union.
Czech electricity suppliers do not yet use the smart electricity meters which NÚKIB warned against.