Dr. Kemal Akkaya
Funding: DOE

As utility companies rightly request to build new systems on top of the legacy systems with limited investment, the research community needs to re-think the adaptation of the existing security approaches to such non-traditional legacy environments. This project aims to tackle symmetric key management in a severely constrained communication environment in the smart grid. Assuming a legacy radio communication infrastructure with bandwidths in the order of kilobits, the objective is not only to reduce the number of messages that need to be exchanged but also minimize the size of the packets that are transmitted. Specifically, we aim to bring Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC) protocol of Google in resource-constrained environments by eliminating the need for the PKI. For this purpose, we propose utilizing dynamic key generation techniques that applythe cryptographic hash function to a key multiple times so that this can be used for future re-keying without any need for signatures. In this way, we will be able to reduce the number of messages and their sizes significantly. In addition, the scheme lowers communication cost by relieving the signature requirement in QUIC. Finally, the scheme also addresses the reliability issues without a need to ACK messages or mechanisms such as the ones used in TCP.