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”Like correctly reporting net frequency in the range 49-51 Hz but reporting false values when outside of that range.”

You can’t fake the system frequency like that. Anyone connected to the grid can observe/measure the system frequency trivially - you could do so right now at the nearest 10A socket. The attack you describe would require compromising large numbers of diverse, distributed generation and frequency response assets.

It would be like trying to fool everyone into thinking it’s a hot day by hacking every single thermometer!

Yep. Once one meter starts reporting the wrong frequency vs the thousands of other ones. It'll simply be taken offline and replaced because it could just be a broken one. Depending on severity, the gig could be up if the meter is sent back to the manufacturer for "repair".

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