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Energy Theft in Smart Grids: A Survey on Data-Driven Attack Strategies and Detection Methods

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>IEEE Access
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)159291-159312
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/11/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The convergence of legacy power system components with advanced networking and communication facilities have led towards the development of smart grids. Smart grids are envisioned to be the next generation innovative power systems, guaranteeing resilience, reliability and sustainability and to facilitate energy production, distribution and management. Nonetheless, the development of such systems entails challenges covering a broad spectrum ranging from operational management up to data-driven power accounting and network security. Given the highly distributed properties of the modern grid, energy theft can now be observed at various transmission and distribution levels. Apart from the financial gain for a malicious actor, energy theft can also affect critical grid processes with a direct impact on its overall resilience and safety. This survey reviews recent energy theft strategies as well as detection methods from a data-driven perspective. By considering various operational and functional layers within modern smart grids we critically assess how energy theft can be formulated. Moreover, we provide an overview of the grid demand, supply and control chain with a focus on energy theft and associated security flaws that currently exist in the smart grid ecosystem. Different attack detection models for theft detection in the smart grid are categorized. Lastly, we discuss various open issues in the scope of data-driven energy theft detection methods and provide future directions to carry out research in this field.