Cryptographic Key Management for Smart Power Grids 2012-1

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

Approaches and Issues


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, this 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.