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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 1508;

A Lightweight Scheme to Authenticate and Secure the Communication in Smart Grids

Cluster and Grid Computing Laboratory, Services Computing Technology and System Laboratory, School of Computer Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
College of Sciences, University of Mosul, Mosul 41002, Iraq
Southern Technical University, Basrah 61001, Iraq
College of Education for Pure Sciences, University of Basrah, Basrah 61001, Iraq
General Directorate of the North Distribution Electricity, Ministry of Electricity, Baghdad 10013, Iraq
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 26 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid and Information Technology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3030 KB, uploaded 1 September 2018]   |  


Self-reconfiguration in electrical power grids is a significant tool for their planning and operation during both normal and abnormal conditions. The increasing in employment of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs), as well as the rapid growth of the new communication technologies have increased the application of Feeder Automation (FA) in Distribution Networks (DNs). In a Smart Grid (SG), automation equipment, such as a Smart Breaker (SB), is used. Using either a wired or a wireless network or even a combination of both, communication between the Control Center (CC) and SBs can be made. Nowadays, wireless technology is widely used in the communication of DNs. This may cause several security vulnerabilities in the power system, such as remote attacks, with the goal of cutting off the electrical power provided to significant consumers. Therefore, to preserve the cybersecurity of the system, there is a need for a secure scheme. The available literature investments proposed a heavyweight level in security schemes, while the overhead was not considered. To overcome this drawback, this paper presents an efficient lightweight authentication mechanism with the necessary steps to ensure real-time automatic reconfiguration during a fault. As a first stage, authentication will be made between CC and SB, SB then sends the information about its status. To ensure the integrity of the authentication exchange, a hash function is used, while the symmetric algorithm is used to ensure privacy. The applicability of the suggested scheme has been proved by conducting security performance and analysis. The proposed scheme will be injected on ABB medium voltage breaker with the REF 542plus controller. Therefore, the probable benefit of the suggested scheme is the contribution to provide more flexibility for electrical utilities in terms of reducing the overall computational overhead and withstanding to various types of attacks, while also opening new prospects in FA of SGs. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart grid; control center; smart breaker; authentication scheme; distribution networks; Feeder Automation smart grid; control center; smart breaker; authentication scheme; distribution networks; Feeder Automation

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Aziz, I.T.; Jin, H.; Abdulqadder, I.H.; Hussien, Z.A.; Abduljabbar, Z.A.; Flaih, F.M.F. A Lightweight Scheme to Authenticate and Secure the Communication in Smart Grids. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1508.

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