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SecurityChallengesinSmartGridMeteringand
ControlSystems
XinxinFan,GuangGong

July2013

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Aswemodernizethenationselectricinfrastructuretomakeitsmarter,more
efficient,andmorecapable,weneedtomakeitmoresecurefromendtoend.
GaryLocke
U.S.AmbassadortoChinaandFormerSecretaryofCommerce

Inthisissue
Editorial:Cybersecurity(July2013)
CybersecurityFutures:HowCanWeRegulate
EmergentRisks?
SecuringCanadasInformationTechnology
Infrastructure:Context,Principles,andFocusAreas
ofCybersecurityResearch
PeertoPeerEnclavesforImprovingNetwork
Defence
KeystoneBusinessModelsforNetworkSecurity
Processors
ManagingCybersecurityResearchand
ExperimentalDevelopment:TheREVOApproach
SecurityChallengesinSmartGridMeteringand
ControlSystems

Abstract

Q&A.ShouldStartupsCareaboutApplication
Security?

Thesmartgridisanextgenerationpowersystemthatisincreasinglyattractingtheattentionof

TIMLectureSeriesGreenBusinessModelsto
ChangetheWorld:HowCanEntrepreneursRide
theSustainabilityWave?

government,industry,andacademia.Itisanupgradedelectricitynetworkthatdependsontwoway
digitalcommunicationsbetweensupplierandconsumerthatinturngivesupporttointelligent
meteringandmonitoringsystems.Consideringthatenergyutilitiesplayanincreasinglyimportant
roleinourdailylife,smartgridtechnologyintroducesnewsecuritychallengesthatmustbe

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addressed.Deployingasmartgridwithoutadequatesecuritymightresultinseriousconsequences

Citation:

suchasgridinstability,utilityfraud,andlossofuserinformationandenergyconsumptiondata.Due

Fan,X.,&Gong,G.2013.Security Challenges in
Smart-Grid Metering and Control Systems.
TechnologyInnovationManagementReview,3(7):
4249.http://timreview.ca/article/702
Citethisarticle:

totheheterogeneouscommunicationarchitectureofsmartgrids,itisquiteachallengetodesign
sophisticatedandrobustsecuritymechanismsthatcanbeeasilydeployedtoprotectcommunications
amongdifferentlayersofthesmartgridinfrastructure.Inthisarticle,wefocusonthe
communicationsecurityaspectofasmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystemfromtheperspectiveof
cryptographictechniques,andwediscussdifferentmechanismstoenhancecybersecurityofthe

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emergingsmartgrid.Weaimtoprovideacomprehensivevulnerabilityanalysisaswellasnovel
insightsonthecybersecurityofasmartgrid.
Introduction

Authorinformation

XinxinFan
UniversityofWaterloo

Theterm"smartgrid"generallyreferstoanextgenerationpowergridinwhichthegeneration,
transmission,distribution,andmanagementofelectricityareupgradedandautomatedby
incorporatingadvancedcomputingandcommunicationtechnologiesforimprovingtheefficiency,
reliability,economics,andsafetyofthegrid.Looselyspeaking,asmartgridiscomposedofapower
gridandatwowaycommunicationnetworkforinformationretrievalandmanagement.When
comparedtolegacyandclosedpowercontrolsystems,thesmartgridisenvisionedtoestablisha
scalable,pervasive,andinteractivecommunicationinfrastructurewithnewenergymanagementand
demandresponsecapabilities.Duringthepastfewyears,smartgridmeteringandcontrolsystems

XinxinFanisaResearchAssociateintheDepartmentof
ElectricalandComputerEngineeringattheUniversityof
Waterloo,Canada.HeholdsaPhDdegreeinElectrical
andComputerEngineeringfromtheUniversityof
Waterloo,aswellasaBScdegreeinAppliedMathematics
andanMEngdegreeinInformationSystemsand
TelecommunicationEngineeringfromXidianUniversity,
China.Hisresearchinterestsrangefromfastandsecure
softwareandhardwareimplementationsofcryptographic
algorithmstothedesignandtheanalysisofsecurity
protocolsforwirelessandwirelinenetworks.

havebeenwidelydeployedthroughouttheworld.AccordingtoanewNavigantResearchreport

Morebythisauthor

(2013),theglobalmarketpotentialforsmartgridequipmentmanufacturersandsolutionproviders

GuangGong

willnearlydoubleby2020,reaching$73billioninannualrevenueand$461billionincumulative
profit.
Asmartgridbringsgreatperformancebenefittothepowerindustryandenablesendusersto
optimizetheirpowerconsumptionhowever,theheavydependenceoncommunicationnetworkshas
madesmartgridsvulnerabletoawiderangeofcyberspacethreats.Forexample,ithasbeenshown
thatsecuritybreachesinsmartgridscanresultinavarietyofseriousconsequences,fromblackouts
andphysicaldamageofinfrastructuretotheleakageofcustomerinformation.Consideringthevast
scaleandcomplexarchitectureofasmartgrid,itisnotdifficulttounderstandthatthevulnerabilities
associatedwiththesmartgridcommunicationsystemmayalsobeenormous.Thosesecurity
vulnerabilitiesneedtobeproperlyaddressedtoensurethatsmartgridsarenotonlysecureand
functioncorrectly,butthattheyalsomaximizetheiradoptionandsuccessfullyfulfillthepromiseof

UniversityofWaterloo
GuangGongisaProfessorintheDepartmentof
ElectricalandComputerEngineeringattheUniversityof
Waterloo,Canada,andsheistheManagingDirectorof
theCentreforAppliedCryptographicResearchat
UniversityofWaterloo.SheholdsaBScdegreein
Mathematics,anMScdegreeinAppliedMathematics,and
aPhDdegreeinElectricalEngineeringfromuniversitiesin
China.Dr.Gonghasalsoheldafellowshipatthe
FondazioneUgoBordoni,inRome,Italy,andwas
AssociateProfessorattheUniversityofElectrical
ScienceandTechnologyofChina.Herresearchinterests
areintheareasofsequencedesign,cryptography,and
communicationsecurity.

Morebythisauthor

smartgridinvestment.
Althoughmostofthearchitectures,frameworks,androadmapsforsmartgridshavealreadybeen
definedbythegovernments,industry,andacademia,therearestillmanyimportantsecurityand
privacyissuesinsmartgridcommunications.Theseissuesarenowconsideredbygovernmentsand

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industrytobeoneofthehighestprioritiesforsmartgriddesign,andtheymustberesolvedbefore
smartgridscanbeoperationallyreadyforthemarket.Inthisarticle,wewillpresentthehighlevel

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architectureofasmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem,andwewilldescribetypicalcyberspace
attacksonsmartgridcommunications.Wealsowillsummarizethesecurityrequirements,review
someexistingsolutions,andhighlightseveralimportantdirectionsalongthisemergingresearchline.

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Theremainderofthisarticleisorganizedasfollows.First,wepresentthefundamentalarchitecture
andfunctionalitiesofasmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem.Next,wefocusonthesecurity
requirementsforsmartgridcommunications,followedbyasurveyofcurrenteffortsmadebythe

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industryandacademiatosecurethesmartgridnetworksanddevices.Finally,weproposeseveral
researchareasanddirectionsinsmartgridsecurityanddrawsomeconclusions.
Architecture
Atypicalsmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem,asillustratedinFigure1,consistsofacollectionof
meters/sensorsandcontrollers/actuatorsthatcommunicatewithasubstation/dataconcentrator,a
consumerortechnician,andvariousthirdpartyentities.Thecommunicationamongdifferent

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Figure1.ArchitectureofatypicalSmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem
Themainfunctionalitiesofeachcomponentinasmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystemareas
follows:

OnMay7,2008,DouglasG.King,AssistantProfessor
ofSystemsandComputerEngineeringatCarleton
University,deliveredapresentationentitled"Privacy
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1. Utilitycompany:connectstothesubstationnetworkthroughthewideareanetwork(WAN)
interfaceandthecommunicationchannelmightbeWiFi,satellite,4GLTE,WiMax,etc.The
utilitycompanyisresponsibleforprocessingalarmsandalerts,managingthemeterdata,and
generatingbills.Moreover,itmayalsoprovideawebportalthatallowscustomerstoviewtheir
monthlyenergyconsumptionandbills.
2. Substation/dataconcentratornetwork:consistsofanumberofsmartmetersinacertain
areaaswellasadatacollector.Theconnectionbetweensmartmetersandthedatacollector
mightthroughWiFi,ZigBee,powerlinecarrier(PLC),etc.Typically,thesmartmetersforma
wirelessmeshnetworkandforwardthemeterreadingstothedatacollectorthroughmultihop
communications.Thedatacollectorthentransmitstheaccumulateddatatotheutilitycompany.
3. Homeareanetwork(HAN):providestheconsumeraccesspointstocontrolandmonitorthe
realtimepowerconsumption.TheHANcontainsahomegatewaythatreceivesthepower
consumptiondatafromthesmartmeteranddisplaysitonhouseholder'sdevices(e.g.,laptop,
tablet,smartphone).Furthermore,thehomegatewaymaysendthepowerconsumptiondatato
athirdpartyforothervalueaddedservices(e.g.,efficiencyadvice,supplierselection).TheHAN
alsoincludesacontrollerthatenableshouseholderstoremotelycontrolthestatusoftheirhome
appliances.
4. Smartmeter:iscomposedofamicrocontroller,ametrologyboard,andacommunication
board.Underthecontrolofthemicrocontroller,themetrologyboardmeasurestherealtime
powerconsumption,andthemeterdataistransmittedtoboththesubstationnetworkaswell
asthehomeareanetworkthroughthecommunicationboard.Theconnectionbetweenthe
smartmeterandhomeappliancesmaybethroughWiFi,ZigBee,Ethernet,HomePlug,Wireless
MBus,etc.Thesmartmetermayalsocontainadisconnectionfunctionthat(ifenabled)allows
utilitycompaniesorcustomerstoremotelyconnectordisconnectthehomeappliancesand
services.
5. Thirdparty:reliesonaccuratemeterreadingstoprovidevalueaddedservicesfor
householders,includingpowerefficiencyadvice,supplierselection,etc.Thoseserviceswillhelp
householderstomanagetheirpowerusageinacosteffectiveway.
Requirements
Theconventionalpowergridiscomposedofdedicatedpowerdevicesthatformclosednetworkswith
reliableandpredicablecommunicationlinks.Incontrast,asmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem
reliesonadvancedwiredandwirelesscommunicationnetworks,therebyinheritingallofthe
weaknessesandpotentialcyberspacevulnerabilitiesofgeneralcommunicationnetworks.Thesmart
gridmeteringandcontrolsystemisbecominganincreasinglycommontargetforcyberspaceattacks,
andstrongandrobustsecuritymechanismsareparamountforthepreventionoffinancialfraud,
environmentalaccidents,andahostofotherpotentiallydisastrousincidents.Inthissection,we

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discussthemajorsecurityconcernsandrequirementsforsmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystems.
Effortsfromstandardsbodiesandorganizations
Anumberoforganizationshavebeenactivelyworkingonthedevelopmentofsmartgridsecurity
requirements,asillustratedinBox1.Amongexistingsmartgridstandardizationefforts,theNIST
FrameworkandRoadmapforSmartGridInteroperabilityStandardsanditsInteragencyReport,
GuidelinesforSmartGridCyberSecurity(NISTIR7628),representthemostcomprehensive
coverageofcyberspacesecurityrequirementsinthesmartgrid.
Box1.Examplesoforganizationsworkingonsmartgridrequirements
ElectricPowerResearchInstitute(EPRI)
InternationalSocietyofAutomation(ISA)
IEEE14022000
InternationalElectrotechnicalCommission(IEC)
NationalEnergyBoard(NEB,Canada)
NorthAmericanElectricalReliabilityCorporationCriticalInfrastructureProtection(NERC
CIP)
NationalInstituteofStandardsandTechnology(NIST)

Allstandardsbodiesconsistentlyspecifythreehighlevelsmartgridsecurityobjectives:availability,
integrity,andconfidentiality.However,eventhoughthestandardsbodiesdefinethesecurity
requirementsbasedonafairlycomprehensivesetofusecasesinthepowerindustry,thereisstilla
considerablegapbetweenunderstandingthesecurityrequirementsinthestandardsandapplying
themtodesignasecuresmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem.Itisextremelyimportantfor
designersandpractitionersofsmartgridstogaindeepunderstandingaboutawiderangeof
maliciousattackstothesmartgrid,asdetailedbelow.
Availability
Availabilityreferstoensuringtimelyandreliableaccesstoinformation,whichistheprimarysecurity
goalofasmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem.Maliciousattackstargetingavailabilitycanbe
consideredasdenialofserviceattacks,whichintendtodelay,block,orevencorruptthe
communicationinthesystem.Inparticular,duetotheextensiveadoptionofwirelesscommunication
technologiesinthesmartgrid,ajammingattackthatfillsthewirelessmediumwithnoisesignalshas
becomethemosttypicalformofphysicallayerattack.Thejammingattackisabletodeferthe
transmissionofmessagesandtodistortthetransmitteddatasignal.Asaresult,thelegitimate
receivercannotrecovermessagesoutofthedamageddatapackets.Jammingattacksaremore
relevantandseriousinthesmartgridthanotherthanothernetworkingsystems,becausethesmart
gridinvolvesessentialresourcesforpeopleseverydaylives.Ontheotherhand,manymaninthe
middleattackscanbelaunchedonlywhenthefullorpartialcommunicationchannelscanbejammed.
Examplesincludejammingtheninsertingfalselocationinformationandjammingthendelayingthe
transmission.Becausethenetworktrafficinthesmartgridisgenerallytimecritical,itiscrucialto
evaluatetheimpactofdenialofserviceattacksandtodesignefficientandeffective
countermeasurestosuchattacks.
Integrity
Integrityreferstopreventingordetectingthemodificationordestructionofinformationby
unauthorizedpersonsorsystems.Maliciousattackstargetingtheintegrityofasmartgridattemptto
stealthilymanipulatecriticaldatasuchasmeterreadings,billinginformation,orcontrolcommands.
Recentresearch(Liuetal.,2011)hasdemonstratedthatanewclassofattacks,calledfalsedata
injectionattacks,arehighlyviableagainstthestateestimationinelectricalpowergrids.Basedon
theassumptionthatanattackerhascompromisedoneorseveralsmartmetersandisabletoaccess
thecurrentpowersystemconfigurationinformation,suchattackscansuccessfullyinjectarbitrary
bogusdataintothemonitoringcentre,andatthesametime,passthedataintegritycheckingused
incurrentstateestimateprocesses.Integrityprotectioncanbeachievedbyauthentication,
certification,andattestation.Morespecifically,thesmartdevicesandsubstationmustauthenticate
eachothersidentitytothwartimpersonation.Datacertificationofamessagepreventsmodification
ofdataduringtransmission.Dataauthenticationwithnonrepudiationgoesbeyondcertificationby
preventingthesenderfromclaimingthatitdidnotsendthedata.Substationsuseattestationto
confirmthatthememorycontents(codeanddata)onasmartdevicehavenotbeenmodified.The
securityservicesrelatedtointegrityareusuallyimplementedusingpublickeycryptography,which
requiresatrustedthirdpartythathostsakeymanagementservice.
Confidentiality
Confidentialityreferstoprotectingpersonalprivacyandproprietaryinformationfromunauthorized
access.Maliciousattackstargetingconfidentialityaimatobtainingdesirableinformation(e.g.,power
usage,customersaccountinformation)througheavesdroppingoncommunicationchannelsina

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smartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem.Althoughsuchattackshavenegligibleeffectsonthe
operationofthesystem,thetransmissionoffinegrainedconsumptiondatabysmartmetershas
raisedconcernsaboutprivacy.Research(Quinn,2009)hasshownthattheconsumptiondata
collectedbysmartmetersreflectstheuseofallelectricappliancesbyinhabitantsinahousehold
overtime,anditallowscriminalstomakeinferencesaboutthebehaviours,activities,orpreferences
ofthoseinhabitants.Thoseprivacyissuesneedtobeaddressedappropriatelytoreducecustomers
fearsaboutpotentialleakagesoftheirinformation.Somebestpracticesrelatingtoprivacyhave
beenproposedforthedesignofsmartgrids(Cavoukian,2010).Anemergingtrendisforthesmart
meterstoaggregateusagedataforbillingpurposesandsupportloadbalancingandothermonitoring
functionsthroughpeertopeerprotocolsthatpreservetheconsumersprivacy.
CurrentApproaches
BasedonthesecurityguidelinesspecifiedbytheNISTandotherstandardsbodies,bothindustryand
academiahavemadeeffortstoaddressthechallengingsecurityissuesinsmartgridmeteringand
controlsystemsbyemployingvariouscryptographictechniques.Here,wegiveanoverviewof
severalexistingcybersecuritysolutionsproposedbyindustryandacademiaforsmartgrid
communications.
Cybersecuritysolutionsfromindustry
In2007alargestakeholdercommunitywasassembledbytheZigBeeAlliancetoaddressthe
securityissuesinthesmartgridthiscommunitydevelopedwhatisknownastheZigBeeSmart
EnergyProfile(SEP).TheZigBeeSEPhasbeenwidelyadoptedasthecommunicationinfrastructure
inhomeareanetworks.Regardingtothesecurity,theZigBeeSEPspecifiesthateachsmartmeter
shouldbeequippedwithanEllipticCurveQuVanstone(ECQV)implicitcertificatebeforedeployment.
TheECQVcertificateismuchsmallerthanatraditionalX.509certificate,anditbindsametersMAC
addressandmanufactureidentifiertoanECCkeypair.AlthoughtheECQVcertificateissuancehas
beenaddressed(Certicom),thecertificaterenewalandrevocationprocessesarenotdefinedinthe
ZigBeeSEP.
Forsupervisorycontrolanddataacquisition(SCADA)systems,NIST(2010)suggestsAES,SHA1,
andRSA,andIEC62351specifiesRSA1024.However,itisnowknownthatRSAisapoorchoicefor
SCADAnetworksbecauseofthehighcomputationcostofRSAencryptionandthelimitedcomputing
powerofSCADAdevices.TheStandardsCouncilofCanadaandtheEuropeanUnionalsodefine
cybersecurityrequirementsforsmartgrids,butdonotspecifyasuiteofcryptographicalgorithmsto
meettherequirements,exceptthattheStandardsCouncilofCanadaspecifiesthatSHAbeusedas
thesecurehashfunction.Itremainsanopenresearchproblemtofindasetofcryptographic
algorithmsthatprovidetherightcombinationofsecurityandimplementabilityforthesmartgrid
meteringandcontrolsystem.
Besidesindustryalliancesandstandardsbodies,thereareanumberofmanufacturersofsmart
devicesforSCADAnetworksandmetersforsmartgrids.Implementationdetailsforthesedevices
aregenerallyconsideredproprietaryinformation,butafewgeneralizationscanbemade.The
cryptographicalgorithmsareimplementedinsoftwareonalowpower16bitmicroprocessor.RSA
1024orECC256/384isusedforpublickeyservices.SymmetrickeyservicesuseAES128orAES
256.Somedevicesusespreadspectrummodulation.Mostsmartdevicemanufacturersimplement
thesecurityservicesthemselves.Afewcompanieshaveahardwaresecuritymodule(HSM)or
similarproductthatisindependentofaspecificsmartdevice.SafeNetsPKIHSMprovidespublickey
cryptographywithRSA1024andECC256/384,andsymmetrickeycryptographywithAES256to
performattestation,keymanagement,encryption/decryption,andbilling.GEDigitalEnergymakesa
familyofwirelessrouterswithAES128designedtoconnecttosmartmetersandcontrollers.Within
Canada,TofinoSecuritysIndustrialSecuritySolutionisaserversidesoftwareprogramcombined
withsecuritydevicesthatactaswiredaccesspointswithencryptionformetersandactuators.
BentekSystemsSCADALinkSMX900isamodularwirelessremoteterminalunit/modemthat
supportsspreadspectrumcommunication,butdoesnotappeartohaveanyfacilitiesforencryption,
authentication,etc.
Cybersecuritysolutionsfromacademia
Acriticalcomponentofsmartgridsecurityiskeymanagement,whichwillensuretheconfidentiality,
authenticity,andintegrityofdevicesandcommunicationswithinthegrid.Mostpreviousresearch
focusedondesigningcryptographicprotocolstoprovidecertainsecurityfunctionalities.
Efficientimplementationsofencryptionschemesareessentialforprovidingconfidentialityinasmart
grid.Anexperimentalstudyabouttheperformanceofasymmetrickeycipher(i.e.,DESCBC)anda
publickeycipher(i.e.,RSA)onanintelligentelectronicdevice(IED)calledTS7250hasbeen
conducted(WangandLu,2013),wheretheIEDisusedforsendingthetransformerstatusand
receivingcommandsfromthecontrolcentre.Theseexperimentalresultsshowthatthe
computationalabilityofanIEDbecomesabottleneckforthedelayperformancewhenperforming
asymmetrickeycryptography.Theseauthorsalsosuggestedthatasymmetrickeyapproachismore
suitableforrealtimeIEDcommunicationsinpowerdistributionandtransmissionsystems.

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Authenticationiscrucialtoprotecttheintegrityofdataanddevicesinthesmartgrid.Duetothe
limitedcomputationalcapabilitiesofdevices,stringenttimingrequirements,andhighdatasampling
ratesinthesmartgrid,traditionalauthenticationschemesmightnotbeapplicable.Moreover,
besidessupportingbasicdataanddeviceauthentication,multicastauthenticationisanotherdesirable
featureduetothemulticastnatureofthesmartgridcommunication.Anumberofauthentication
schemeshavebeenproposedintheliteratureforsmartgrids.SzilagyiandKoopman(2009and2010)
proposedflexibleandlowcostmulticastauthenticationschemesforembeddedcontrolsystems.The
basicideaistoverifytruncatedmessageauthenticationcodes(MACs)acrossmultiplepackets,
therebyachievingagoodtradeoffamongauthenticationcost,delayperformance,andtoleranceto
attacks.Wangandcolleagues(2009)proposedafastmulticastauthenticationschemefortime
criticalmessagesinthesmartgrid.Theirschemeisbasedonanefficientvariantofaonetime
signature(OTS)scheme.Althoughtheproposedschemeisefficientintermsofcomputation,the
publickeysizeinanOTSbasedschemeisquitelarge(i.e.,ontheorderof10KB).Hence,both
communicationandstorageoverheadaresignificantinthiscase.Luandcolleagues(2012)conducted
anempiricalstudyforafewdataoriginauthenticationschemesinsubstationautomationsystems
(SAS).TheseauthorscomparedtheperformanceofRSA,MAC,andOTSonasmallscaleSAS
prototypeandconcludedthattheexistingauthenticationschemescannotbeapplieddirectlyintothe
SASduetoinsufficientperformanceconsiderationsinresponsetoapplicationconstraints.
Theheterogeneouscommunicationarchitectureofthesmartgridhasmadethekeymanagement
particularlychallenging,anditisnotpracticaltodesignauniversalkeymanagementschemeforthe
entiresmartgrid.Thesimplestwayistouseasinglekeysharedbyallthemetersinthesmartgrid.
However,thissolutionwillcausethesinglepointoffailureduetothelackofatamperproofmodule
insmartmeters.Beaverandcolleagues(2002)proposedanelementarykeyestablishmentscheme
calledSKEforSCADAsystems.Whereasthemasterslavecommunicationsaresecuredby
symmetrickeyschemes,thepeertopeercommunicationsareprotectedbypublickeyschemes.
However,theschemeproposedbytheseauthorsdoesnotsupportefficientmulticastandbroadcast
authenticationinthesmartgrid.Dawsonandcolleagues(2006)proposedSKMA,akeymanagement
schemeforSCADAsystems.Theseauthorsintroducedakeydistributioncentre(KDC)andeachnode
maintainstwotypesoflongtermkeys:nodetoKDCandnodetonode.AsessionkeyinSKMAis
generatedusingthenodetonodekey.Unfortunately,SKMAdoesnotconsiderissuesofmulticast,
keyupdate,andrevocation.ChoiandcolleaguesdescribedASKMA(2009)andASKMA+(2010)for
keymanagementinSCADAsystems,respectively.Bothschemesaredesignedbasedontheusageof
alogicalkeyhierarchy(LKH),whichisabletoachieveefficientkeymanagementamongallnodes.In
particular,ASKMAsupportsbothmulticastandbroadcastauthenticationandtheperformancehas
beenfurtherimprovedinASKMA+.
Althoughmanyencryption,authentication,andkeymanagementschemeshavebeenproposed,their
performancedoesnotseemtofulfillthestringenttimingrequirementsofthesmartgrid.Therefore,
finegrainedandadvancedsecurityprotocolsstillneedtobedevelopedforprotectingdifferent
communicationnetworksinsmartgrids.
Inasmartgrid,theutilitycompanyneedstherealtimepowerconsumptiondataforplanning
purposesaswellasforprovidingaccurateandauthenticbilling.Fortheutilitycompany,the
correctnessofthecalculatedbillsisthemostimportantissue.However,fromthecustomers
perspective,privacyisthemainconcern.Researchershavedesignedprivacypreservingbilling
protocolsusingadvancedcryptographictechniquessuchaszeroknowledgeproofandhomomorphic
encryption.Bohilandcolleagues(2010)proposedaprivacymodelforsmartmetering,inwhicha
trustedthirdpartyproxyisintroducedtocollectmeterreadingsfromindividualcustomersand
aggregatedatabeforeforwardingittotheutilitycompany.Lateron,GarciaandJacobs(2012)
proposedtheuseofhomomorphicencryptiontopreventtheutilitycompanyfromaccessingthe
powerconsumptiondataofindividualhouseholds.Usingthoseadvancedcryptographictechniques,
utilitycompaniesonlyreceivethecommitmentsoftherealtimepowerconsumptioninsteadofthe
rawdatafromsmartmeters,andcustomerscanprovetotheutilitycompanythatautilitybillhas
beencorrectlygenerated.
Besidesresearchintoaddressinggeneralprivacyconcernsforthesmartgrid,anumberof
researchershavebeenfocusingondesigningandimplementingprivacypreservingbillingprotocols.
Rialandcolleagues(2011)proposedaprivacypreservingbillingprotocolinwhichthepower
consumptiondataissenttotheuseralongwithotherinformationfromthesmartmeter,andthe
usercomputesthebillbasedonthepricingpolicyduringeachbillingperiod.Afterthat,theuser
sendstheproofofcorrectcomputationtotheutilitycompany,whereahomomorphiccommitment
schemehasbeenusedtoconstructtheproof.Kursaweandcolleagues(2011)presentedasetof
protocolsthatcanbeusedtoprivatelycomputeaggregatemetermeasurementsoverdefinedsetsof
meterswithoutrevealinganyadditionalinformationabouttheindividualmeterreadings.Moreover,
theirprotocolsalsoallowfordetectionoffraudandleakageaswellasnetworkmanagementand
statisticalprocessingofmetermeasurements.MolinaMarkhamandcolleagues(2012)implemented
theprivacypreservingbillingprotocolproposedbyRialonaMSP430basedmicrocontrollerand
verifiedthefeasibilityofdesigningprivacypreservingsmartmetersusinglowcostmicrocontrollers.

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FutureOutlook
Thesmartgridmeteringandcontrolsystemconsistsofheterogeneouswiredandwirelessnetworks
anddevicesfromvariousdomains.Eachsubsysteminthesmartgridcurrentlyfollowsthedifferent
standardsandregulationsandhasdistinctsecurityrequirements.Inparticular,thesmartgridfaces
uniquechallengesstemmingfromthecombinationofstringentsecurityrequirements,limited
computationalresources,timecriticalmessagedeliveryandresponses,andtheuseof
heterogeneousnetworkswithmultipleauthenticationandprotectionmechanisms.Althoughalotof
effortshavebeenmadebyindustryandacademiatoaddressawiderangeofsecurityissuesinthe
smartgrid,therearestillmanychallengesthatneedtobetackledbeforesmartgridscanbewidely
deployed.Fromtheviewpointofcryptographictechnique,wehighlightseveralresearchareasand
directionsthatneedtobefurtherinvestigated.
Alightweightciphersuiteforsmartgriddevices
Thetightcostandresourceconstraintsinherentinmassdeploymentsofsmartgriddevicesbring
forwardimpendingrequirementsforimplementingalightweightciphersuitethatcanperformstrong
authenticationandencryption,andprovideothersecurityfunctionalities.Previousresearchhas
shownthatusingclassicalcryptographicalgorithmsthataredesignedforfullfledgedcomputershas
becomethebottleneckinmanysmartgridapplications.Inordertomeetthestringenttime
requirementsinasmartgrid,itishighlydesirabletostandardizeasetoflightweightsymmetrickey
andasymmetrickeyciphersforsecuringsmartgridapplications.
Advancedkeymanagementforsmartgridnetworks
Encryptionandauthenticationarecrucialcryptographicprocessesinasmartgrid,becausethey
protectdataintegrityandconfidentiality,andanefficientkeymanagementschemeisthefoundation
thatensuresthesecureoperationofasmartgrid.Becauseasmartgridiscomposedof
heterogeneouscommunicationnetworksandinvolvessymmetrickeyandasymmetrickey
cryptosystems,alargesetofcryptographickeysneedtobemanagedinanefficientmanner.A
sophisticatedkeymanagementframeworkneedstobedesignedtodealwithsecurityservicesas
wellastheseamlesshandoverofthoseservicesacrossdifferentsubsystemsinthesmartgrid.
Privacypreservingoperationsinsmartgridnetworks
Smartgridcommunicationshaveraisedseriousconcernsaboutuserprivacyduetothepossibilityof
inferringcustomersbehaviourandhabitsfromthedetailedenergyusageinformation,whichcanlead
topotentialrisksthatconsumerswouldbevulnerabletocriminalactivitiesandpersonalinformation
leakage.Advancedprivacypreservingsecurityschemesneedtobedevelopedandintegratedinto
smartgridnetworkstoenableutilitycompaniestoperformtheregularbusinessoperationssuchas
customerbillingonlyusingaggregatedpowerconsumptioninformation.Therealtimepower
consumptiondatashouldonlybeaccessiblebyindividualcustomers.
Conclusion
Smartgridmeteringandcontrolsystemsholdenormouspromiseforimprovingefficiency,
convenience,andsustainability.However,thecomplicatedandheterogeneoussystemarchitecture
hasmadesecuringthesmartgridparticularlychallenging.Cybersecurityinthesmartgridmetering
andcontrolsystemisanimportantandrapidlyevolvingareathathasattractedattentionfrom
government,industry,andacademia.Inthisarticle,weintroducedthehighlevelarchitectureofa
smartgridmeteringandcontrolsystem,detailedthesystem'ssecurityrequirements,summarized
therecenteffortsfromindustryandacademia,andhighlightedseveralareasanddirectionsfor
furtherresearch.Ourobjectiveistoshedsomelightoncybersecurityinthesmartgridandtotrigger
theclosecollaborationsamonggovernment,industry,andacademia.
Basedonourdiscussioninthisarticle,itisclearthatimplementinganintegratedandfinegrained
securitysolutionthatisabletoaddresspotentialsecurityandprivacyissuesineachsubsystemofa
smartgridiscriticaltoguaranteeitssuccessfuldeployment.Moreover,thedesignofsecurity
solutionsshouldtakeintoaccountthesalientfeaturesofthesmartgridaswellastheunderlying
powersystem.Lookingtothefuture,thejointeffortsfromindustryandacademiawillmaketheera
ofsmartenergybecomerealityatastaggeringspeed.

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http://timreview.ca/article/702

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6/22/2015

SecurityChallengesinSmartGridMeteringandControlSystems|TIMReview

Keywords:authentication,cybersecurity,encryption,privacy,smartgrid

Topic:ManagingInnovation

TechnologyEntrepreneurship

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CopyrightTalentFirstNetwork2007 2015ISSN:19270321FormerlytheOpenSourceBusinessResource
TheTechnologyInnovationManagementReviewispublishedunderaCreativeCommonsAttribution3.0UnportedLicense.Authorsretainfullcopyrighttotheirindividualworks.

http://timreview.ca/article/702

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