This topic is purely theoretical and inspired by the grandstanding of IT security representatives in the media. I just kind of immagined for 5 minutes, what if I wanted to get in. I am afraid if someone sais it can’t be done, well thats a challenge to me.
So most internet security is focused around anti-virus and firewalls roaming IP addresses and VPN’s. All aimed at blocking and hiding your data from view, armour plating the front door and fitting a constantly changing lock. Thats great if someone is coming through the front door but what about the power lines or even the water pipes.
Ok – sounds far fetched but bear with me. Up until 2010, there was a massive investment globaly for superfast broadband using BPL (Broadband over power lines) also termed IPL (Internet over Power Lines). This is essentialy where your network extenders using your domestic electricity plug sockets have been derived from. We will get to them in a second.
With all this infrastructure development, Electrical Transformers were fitted with equipment to allow the passage of data around the transformer so as to prevent the degredation of data quality at speeds up to 30Mbps on power lines under 100kV. Lets say approximately a town is below 100kV but High power cross country power transmission lines can be above.
So with this in mind, how could someone hack into your secure network or office. It takes some front but you would have to physicaly locate your device on the power line i.e. a plug socket inside or close to the target building ( might be in the office next door) so as to hack the wireless which may be a great deal less sophisticated for a cyber tech (not me but its plausable)It may even be just to look into the building so hacking a laptop webcam for instance or even at the reception desk with a Near Field Communication phone hacker for all those that sign in.
Once it starts a hack, it can seemlessly transmit over the power lines to a nearby receiver (somewhere in the same town) which can transmit to 4G and be a permanent hack in not swept for by front door security. The person would never be caught and its quite a scary prospect.
Even if we removed every device that allows communication across electricity transformers, there is still a narrow band freequency that can pass through the transformer at a much slower rate.
So I would say that the simplest way to guard against this threat would be using an electromagnetic field detector in the same way that we scan for electromagnetic field intensity. Simply wand it over Power adaptors and anything plugged into the mains electricity when switched on and the plug sockets themselves. Then your only problem is non wireless comms so no ethernet or internal phone power socket filters.
Ok so thats got the risks managed, can we turn this into a positive.
Again I will say this is an unproved theory and not encouraging anyone to investigate physicaly but maybe contact your electricity company to see if it is a service they can offer. You must always use equipment for the purpouse it is intended and warranteed for.
In the UK we have 3 Phase power and each phase is 230V hence how you have 230V in your house. Houses are normaly connected 1 – 2 – 3 – 1 – 2 -3 -1 – 2 – 3 down the street, not always. I wonder if it is possible to share your home network via a plug in network extender with your friends on the same Phase. So in this example Phase 1 would connect House 1,4,7 / Phase 2 would connect House 2,5,8 / Phase 3 would connect House 3,6,9. This would make gaming very fast between the houses.
Alternatively could you use plug in wireless extenders through walls to next door and then them use a socket network extender and again with their next door neighbour so all three phases are covered. This would make community Online gaming very fast and reduce the overall distance that the data must travel increasing network capacity.
I am sure that there is a device that could be made which would facilitate this idea and reduce the need to increase the network capacity and improve local social cohesion. I am sure such a device would also balance the requirements of internet companies to safeguard access to their data transport service.
Just an idea and I welcome comments below.