Vote for this team on Twitter before April 12 at 6 p.m., using the hashtag #cyberfinaleteam5. Votes count toward the $2,000 "People's Choice" award.
"Tackling Cybersecurity Threats in Smart Grids"
Majid Ahmadi with Hanif Rahbari
School of Public Policy
Smart Grid is the next generation of electricity grids that provide a framework for using advanced technologies including telecommunications, distributed energy resources, and energy efficiency solutions.While Smart Grids are particularly advantageous, they are vulnerable to different forms of attacks. The portion of a Smart Grid that is especially vulnerable is the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The AMI acts as a foundation for the Smart Grid since it consists of smart meters, communications networks, customer gateway, and data management systems that enable two-way communication between utility companies and customers that often is wireless. To counter wireless communications security attacks, we propose investigating various randomization techniques that hide the true characteristics of wireless traffic. Specifically, we propose using signal processing and transmission scheduling techniques that can artificially alter the features of the traffic and confuse the eavesdropper about the true pattern, making it almost impossible to discern the residents’ private information. For example, the devices may transmit bogus packets when they are not active to evade the eavesdropper and force it to mistakenly assume that the residents are in home. The outcome of this project is the set of techniques that can be applied in different situations and for different levels of security.