Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do I live the first suburb in the world to be smurfed?

So, strange reports started coming in to the media this week about neighbors whose gate remote controls and car remote controls had stopped working. It was across my neighborhood but not those around us. It didn't affect us thank goodness. No-one knew what was causing it.

It turns out that new special meters that have been installed are to blame. They consist of the bit that measures the electric usage and a bit that reports it back to the electricity company. They communicate with each other using the same frequency that gate and car remotes use.

Somehow they have been "over-communicating". This has led gate remotes and car remotes to stop working due to all the signal-noise. It made the press because in South Africa a non-working gate remote on a dark night can lead to some pretty ugly crime.

The electricity department denied that it was their machines until it was proven otherwise with signal measuring tools. Now they claim that it was a third party device that caused their meters to start shouting to the world at large. They have a 'patch' for the machines that can stop this issue.

Exact details are sketchy but it sounds like someone managed to launch either a smurf attack or a DoS attack on the machines which in turn made things like electric gates, garage doors and cars not work. Parts of the neighborhood were essentially shut down. So, I'm claiming to live in the first suburb to be smurfed.