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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Techniques for Enhancing the Security of Future Smart Grids
by Saed, Mustafa, Ph.D., University of Detroit Mercy, 2018, 444; 10793626
Abstract (Summary)

The smart grid is a new technology that uses new and sophisticated techniques for electrical transmission and distribution in order to provide excellent electrical service to customers, and allow them to manage their electricity consumption in a two-way communication. The idea of the “Smart Grid” was most likely invented by researchers and engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy, who were concerned with increasing the level of functionalities and intelligence of the contemporary electrical grid. Some of these functionalities typically include knowledge about generation, the ability to automate substations, and methods of communicating with consumers.

Improvements in the performance of network and smart grid systems have significantly enriched their effectiveness and consistency. Unfortunately, these advances also pose new threats when the systems are not equipped with the proper security measures resulting in use safety issues, such as a disconnection of electrical power source. Even though addressing the security concerns of a massive and powerful system can be overwhelming, appropriate installation of electrical equipment can prevent cyber-attacks from harming essential functions.

The most effective security measures can be employed by every component of the smart grid communications network through understanding practices and principles found in similar systems and industries.

This dissertation leverages the work that has been done with regards to the security of the smart grid. Protecting the two-way direct and indirect communication of smart meters with collectors through the introduction of the three cryptographic protocols based on PKI will be emphasized. The security of indirect communication is more difficult in comparison to the direct one as readings (measurements) have to travel through other smart meters before reaching the collector. The introduced schemes satisfy the security requirements; confidentiality, integrity, and nonrepudiation. Furthermore, a risk analysis of the three designed security protocols for smart meters in smart grid networks will be performed. Finally, a technique for verifying the security of the three developed security protocols between smart meters, the central gateway (collector), and supervisory nodes (substation) will be presented. The verification process of these protocols relies on the CryptoVerif tool using two phases. In the first phase, the protocols were manually investigated for security flaws, inconsistencies, and incorrect usage of cryptographic primitives. During the second phase, the protocols were analyzed using the CryptoVerif, an automated formal method-based analysis tool. Several efficiency improvements are presented as an outcome of these analyses. Furthermore, the future work will concentrate on simulating and integrating the three designed protocols, and securing the data reading (Smart Meter-Collector-Substation/Utility) before uploading it to the smart grid cloud by the public utility. In addition, a new security technique to secure the smart grid cloud will be discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holou, Nizar Al, Daimi, Kevin
Commitee: Lahdhiri, Tarek, Luo, Chaomin, Zhong, Kathy
School: University of Detroit Mercy
Department: Engineering and Science
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-B 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer Engineering, Electrical engineering, Computer science
Keywords: Communication protocols, Cryptography, Data security, Security protocol, Smart grids, Smart meters
Publication Number: 10793626
ISBN: 978-1-392-02790-5
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