Conventional utility meters are increasingly being replaced with smart meters as smart meter based AMIs (Advanced Metering Infrastructures) provide many benefits over conventional power infrastrucutures. However, security issues pertaining to the data transmission between smart meters and utility servers have been a major concern. With large scale AMI deployments, addressing these issues is challenging. In particular, as data travels through several networks, secure end-to-end communication based on strong authentication mechanisms and a robust and scalable key management schemes are crucial for assuring the confidentiality and the integrity of this data. In this paper, we propose an approach based on PUF (physically unclonable function) technology for providing strong hardware based authentication of smart meters and efficient key management to assure the confidentiality and integrity of messages exchanged between smart meters and the utility. Our approach does not require modifications to the existing smart meter communication. We have developed a proof-of-concept implementation of the proposed approach which is also briefly discussed in the paper.


utility meters, smart meters, advanced meter infrastructures, security, data transmition, secure end-to-end communication, physically unclonable function

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