UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Security and privacy in smart grid context : problems and solutions Nicanfar, Hasen


In order to improve the power grid and provision the Smart Grid concept, one well-defined approach would be to utilize new information and communication technology. Live power consumption data in addition to the time base power consumption rate are essential requirements in this context. These communications are supposed to be bi-directional between consumers, providers and smart grid administrations (market, operators, etc.). However, one of the most essential requirements that should be preserved is to address communication security and privacy. There are many opportunities for adversaries to attack the smart grid system, even remotely anywhere in the world, that could result in costly issues and damages in the system, even jeopardize user privacy. In the first part of this thesis, we concentrate on improving the efficiency of security mechanism and present our tailored authentication and key management mechanisms. We propose two solutions, one for communications between home appliances and a home gateway (smart meter), while the second solution aims at communications between the home smart meter and an appropriate server located in the smart grid utility network.We then propose enhancements on key management by developing two key construction mechanisms based on the Password Authentication Key Exchange (PAKE) protocol. The first is a cluster-based group key mechanism between smart grid entities, e.g. consumers in a neighbourhood area network. The second enhancement is a multi-layer key mechanism motivated by controlling the home smart appliances using different smart grid controllers located in different layers of the controlling hierarchy network. The second part of the thesis concentrates on Privacy. In this part, we present a privacy mechanism based on enhanced network coding for communications between smart meters and utility servers via a mesh topology. Finally, we propose a privacy-aware security solution for mobile devices. For example, to support electric vehicles in buying and selling the power from and to the grid, or in case of the smart phones in the heterogeneous network (4G and/or 5G), to support handover between the access points.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada