[Cryptography] Gaslighting ~= power droop == side channel attack

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Wed Nov 30 15:20:08 EST 2016


On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM, Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> wrote:

> At 12:31 PM 11/29/2016, Chris Tonkinson wrote:
> >  Suppose you charge a battery in anticipation of required energy usage
> >for some application.  Charge it at regular intervals, and at a constant
> >rate.  Overall power usage remains the same - but start adding multiple
> >appliances (e.g. an entire home) and the combinatorics of overall energy
> >consumption should prevent detailed analysis.
> >
> >  Six months later "power laundering" devices will be outlawed :)
>
> It is already the case in many regions that the *only* profits that
> electric utilities make are during *peak rate* hours.  As businesses
> and homes and appliances become "smarter" at avoiding these peak rates,
> the profits of the utility companies completely vanish.
>
> I'm still not sure why the utilities are so interested in exactly
> which appliances I have and when they turn on&off; I suppose this
> is what constitutes "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"
> for the dying dinosaur utilities.


‚ÄčI don't think there is any interest in the measurements themselves. The
real objective is to control when the devices turn on and off. Either
directly through commands to the device or indirectly by changing tariffs.

Generation and distribution are split and they operate very differently.
The coal generators only make money at peak rate. But renewables make money
whenever demand isn't saturated. Persuading people to run their dishwashers
or charge their plug in hybrid cars when the electricity utility chooses
allows for demand shifting and that allows for wind and solar to grow
further than without.

The rather obvious next phase in electrification is to require taxis to be
plug in electric vehicles in some major city. This will be done to reduce
pollution but also to reduce carbon emissions. To make the scheme viable,
the battery pack has to be rented rather than bought and there has to be a
'fast swap' filling station. So the taxi can stay out on the road without
having to wait for the battery to charge. And to make that possible you
have to have an infrastructure to track the battery, who is currently
renting it, who owns the depreciation, etc.

Expect to see all that crypto that was originally designed to support card
payment schemes like Mondex be recycled for tracking those battery packs.

Once there is a network of battery swap stations round the country,
all-electric vehicles become a lot more attractive. They are cheaper to
make for a start. No engine, no transmission, simplified suspension. The
only moving parts are the motor/rims, steering, brakes.
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