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SeReCP: A secure and reliable communication platform for the smart grid

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  • K. Demir
  • Neeraj Suri
  • Kitakami M. (Editor)
  • Kim D.S. (Editor)
  • Varadharajan V. (Editor)


The management of a complex cyber-physical system such as the Smart Grid (SG) requires responsive, scalable and high-bandwidth communication, which is often beyond the capabilities of the classical closed communication networks of the power grid. Consequently, the use of scalable public IP-based networks is increasingly being advocated. However, a direct consequence of the use of public networks is the exposure of the SG to varied reliability/security risks, e.g., distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). Thus the need exists for new lightweight mechanisms that can provide both cost-effective communication along with proactive DDoS attack protection. We fill this gap by proposing a novel approach termed as SeReCP, which leverages: (1) a semi-trusted P2P-based publish-subscribe (pub-sub) system providing a proactive countermeasure for DDoS attacks and secure group communications by aid of a group key management system, (2) a data diffusion mechanism that sustains the network availability in the case of both randomly sweeping and targeted DDoS attacks on pub-sub brokers, and (3) a multi-homing-based fast recovery mechanism for detecting and requesting the dropped packets, thus paving the way for meeting the stringent laency requirements os SG applications. Our evaluation on a real testbed demonstrates that SG applications. Our evaluation on a real testbed demonstrates that SeReCP provides the required security and availability of SG applications with up to 30% failures of the pnb-snb brokers. Overall, we show that SeReCP helps enable the secure use of public network based communication for safety-critical cyber-physical systems such as the SG.