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The electric power grid is facing a major paradigm shift, away from static structures to a more intelligent and flexible energy utility. In order to increase the efficiency of the power grid and implement novel services, such as dynamic pricing, rigorous and fine-grained monitoring of the grid status is required. However, this approach generates huge amounts of sensitive metering data, and requires sharing with various parties to be finally effective. In this regard, strong security measures must be integrated in the design of deployed infrastructures from the beginning in order to facilitate customer trust in this novel technology. Hence, this paper presents the most important results of an in-depth analysis of threats and attack vectors that could impede the wide adoption of automatic metering in smart grids. These results are valuable input for future architectures and designs of critical system components incorporating effective security and privacy protection mechanisms.