Zubair Md Fadlullah, Nei Kato, Rongxing Lu, Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, and Yousuke Nozaki
IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 150-156, May 2012
Publication year: 2012-05

Significant research efforts have recently been directed toward materializing smart grid for the purpose of transforming the aging power grid into an efficient and intelligent electric power distribution system. Conceptually, smart grid can be regarded as a fusion of different advanced technologies (i.e., electrical power engineering meets sensing, control, digital communication, and network information technologies). However, when these advanced technologies converge at smart grid, we will face many unforeseen challenges, particularly security challenges in smart grid communications. In this article, toward secure targeted broadcast in smart grid, we investigate the applicability of Attribute Based Encryption (ABE) for smart grid communication scenarios. In particular, we focus on the application of Key Policy ABE (KPABE), where a smart grid control center can use KP-ABE to broadcast a single encrypted message to a specific group of users, and each user in the targeted group can individually use the defined key policy to decrypt the message. With this kind of KP-ABE targeted broadcast, it is possible to eliminate the need for issuing multiple unicast messages. As a result, both communication and computation efficiency can be ensured.