Cryptographic Key Management for Smart Power Grids

Mohamed Nabeel
John Zage
Samuel Kerr
Elisa Bertino, Purdue University
N. Athula Kulatunga
U. Sudheera Navaratne
M. Duren

Cyber Center Technical Report


The smart power grid promises to improve efficiency and reliability of power delivery. This report introduces the logical components, associated technologies, security protocols, and network designs of the system. Undermining the potential benefits are security threats, and those threats related to cyber security are described in this report. Concentrating on the design of the smart meter and its communication links, his report describes the ZigBee technology and implementation, and the communication between the smart meter and the collector node, with emphasis on security attributes. It was observed that many of the secure features are based on keys that must be maintained; therefore, secure key management techniques become the basis to securing the entire grid. The descriptions of current key management techniques are

delineated, highlighting their weaknesses. Finally some initial research directions are outlined.