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In smart cities, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) of the smart grid facilitates automated metering, control and monitoring of power distribution by employing a wireless network. Due to this wireless nature of communication, there exist potential threats to the data privacy in AMI. Decoding the energy consumption reading, injecting false data/command signals and jamming the networks are some hazardous measures against this technology. Since a smart meter possesses limited memory and computational capability, AMI demands a light, but robust security scheme. In this paper, we propose a localization-based key management system for meter data encryption. Data are encrypted by the key associated with the coordinate of the meter and a random key index. The encryption keys are managed and distributed by a trusted third party (TTP). Localization of the meter is proposed by a method based on received signal strength (RSS) using the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE). The received packets are decrypted at the control center with the key mapped with the key index and the meter’s coordinates. Additionally, we propose the k-nearest neighbors (kNN) algorithm for node/meter authentication, capitalizing further on data transmission security. Finally, we evaluate the security strength of a data packet numerically for our method.


Originally published in Energies.

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