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2024 | Book

Physical Layer Security in Power Line Communications

Fundamentals, Models and Applications

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About this book

This book emerges as a seminal work, addressing the critical need for robust security for power line communications (PLC), during an era where digital interconnectivity is paramount yet vulnerable. This comprehensive volume offers a deep dive into the realm of PLC, a technology increasingly central to our interconnected power grid infrastructure and explores its potential as a cornerstone for various applications.


This book opens with a clear and informative introduction to PLC, shedding light on its present status and importance. The authors then delve into the heart of the matter: the application of physical layer security (PLS) in PLC networks. PLS, an emerging field in its own right, is presented as a vital complement or alternative to traditional communications security methods, especially relevant for securing networks of low-complexity devices that are pivotal in PLC applications.


This exhaustive treatment of PLS in PLC is unprecedented, both in its scope and depth. This book not only clarifies the fundamental principles of PLS in PLC, but also provides actionable insights for mitigating risks and enhancing resilience. Targeted towards engineers, researchers, graduate students and practitioners grappling with the multifaceted aspects of cybersecurity in energy infrastructure, this book stands out for its clarity, rigor, and the practical applicability of its content. The authors share the results of their extensive research journey and practice, presenting compelling use cases that underscore the practicality of their findings, as well as insights to be prepared for the next challenges in the security of the grid infrastructure.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Introduction
Abstract
Although Power Line Communication (PLC) technology has a long history, its broader acceptance and deployment have only gained momentum in recent years, primarily due to its applications in industrial settings. For years, various standardization organizations and industrial associations have been working towards making PLC a widely accepted and secure communication technology. Despite its quick adoption, there has not been much focus on the security of PLC, particularly regarding physical layer techniques, with current measures mostly relying on traditional cryptographic principles. This book provides an in-depth analysis of PLC Physical Layer Security (PLS), examining its techniques, features, and limitations. It also introduces novel metrics and reviews existing ones to deliver a comprehensive security performance assessment of PLC networks. This introductory chapter presents an overview of PLS in PLC and outlines the structure and scope of the remaining chapters of the book.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 2. An Overview of Power Line Communication Networks
Abstract
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of Power Line Communication (PLC) networks, reviewing the different technologies that shape this field. Additionally, it also explores various PLC implementations with special emphasis on the often-overlooked application of grid information inference. This review is designed to shed light on how PLC can be leveraged not just for communications but also for the extraction and analysis of valuable grid data. Such reflection aims to expand the understanding of the diverse uses of PLC, with a particular focus on enhancing grid management and operations.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 3. Power Line Communication Channel Characteristics
Abstract
The Power Line Communication (PLC) channel characteristics are key in determining the reliability of PLC systems, as they establish a direct connection between data transmission and signal quality. This chapter offers a comprehensive overview of the transmission line theory, the multipath signal propagation, and the noise characteristics relevant to PLC networks.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 4. Power Line Communication Security
Abstract
This chapter provides an in-depth exploration of the fundamental principles and vulnerabilities associated with Power Line Communication (PLC) security. It also explains the key security attributes of PLC networks, including confidentiality, integrity, availability, and authentication, along with the associated challenges.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 5. Physical Layer Security in Power Line Communications
Abstract
The field of Physical Layer Security (PLS) applied to Power Line Communication (PLC) networks remains largely untapped. This section presents an overview of the foundational concepts of PLS and its distinct implementations within PLC. The discussion then shifts to various PLS techniques found in the academic literature. Each technique’s applications, benefits, and constraints are classified, accompanied by relevant performance analysis metrics for a thorough evaluation.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 6. Performance Analysis of Data Transmission Security and Reliability in PLC
Abstract
This chapter investigates well-known Physical Layer Security (PLS) performance analysis metrics that can be used to evaluate a variety of PLS techniques for Power Line Communication (PLC) networks. Furthermore, a new PLC performance analysis metric, named Secure and Successful Transmission Probability (SSTP), has been introduced and explained. This metric aims to assess both the security and reliability of a given transmission link. Moreover, for each metric, the main concept and some performance analysis numerical results in real PLC scenarios are presented and evaluated.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 7. Confidentiality Technique for PLC Networks
Abstract
This chapter presents and details a confidentiality technique for Power Line Communication (PLC) networks. It consists of a new multilevel quantization algorithm suitable for key generation, which facilitates the application of information reconciliation strategies to mitigate the impact of channel estimation errors. The method addresses the general lack of channel symmetry in the power line by utilizing the path delays of the Channel Impulse Response (CIR) to derive a symmetric virtual CIR that can lead to a decrease in the Bit Mismatch Rate (BMR) by at least three orders of magnitude.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 8. Authentication Method for PLC Network
Abstract
Authentication techniques in Power Line Communication (PLC) networks are vital to ensure secure communication, preventing unauthorized access and potential tampering with the data being transmitted. This chapter presents a novel technique based on multipath channel delays to offer Physical Layer Identification (PL ID) for PLC links. The method’s precision and efficiency are tested by measuring the Successful Path Detection Probability (SPDP) within a simulated environment, accounting for both perfect and imperfect channel state information scenarios. The findings show that for PLC noise power of around 90 dBuV, the achieved accuracy is approximately \(90\%\). When the noise power drops below 80 dBuV, accuracy peaks at \(100\%\). The proposed PL ID technique serves as an auxiliary layer of authentication within PLC networks by providing a unique fingerprint for each link.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 9. PLC Network Integrity Solution
Abstract
Assuring that the power line has not been altered or tampered with in an unauthorized manner is key for maintaining the integrity of Power Line Communication (PLC) networks. This chapter introduces a PLC topology change detection technique that can identify modifications in the power grid physical network. Experimental results are presented to confirm the quality and viability of the proposed approach, showing excellent detection accuracy, even at high PLC noise levels. This Channel Impulse Response (CIR)-only-based solution for topology detection presents an efficient PLC network integrity scheme that cannot only detect but also identify the specific altered links.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 10. PLC Availability Scheme
Abstract
Ensuring availability in Power Line Communication (PLC) networks is paramount to maintaining uninterrupted communication, especially given their critical role in critical infrastructure. While most of the existing research has been dedicated to ensuring the availability of these devices, there remains an overlooked area when it comes to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Current mechanisms might identify a jammer close to the target devices, yet such devices may encounter difficulties signaling interference under jamming conditions. On the other hand, when these systems are considerably remote from the jammer, detecting its presence becomes quite complicated. This chapter introduces a novel method for detecting the presence of a jammer in a PLC network, which serves to safeguard the availability of remote network equipment. The results of the proposed technique are able to locate a jammer with a probability exceeding \(0.99\), even when it is positioned 75 m away.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Chapter 11. Conclusions
Abstract
In this book, we have explored the critical need for robust security in power line communications (PLC) and PLC’s role in our interconnected power grid infrastructure. We also highlight physical layer security (PLS) as a crucial approach for securing low-complexity device networks in PLC applications.
While the initial chapters lay a foundational understanding of the PLC ecosystem, discussing its evolution, technological landscape, and significance, subsequent chapters frame channel characteristics and address various security challenges, introducing the concept of PLS as a transformative approach to safeguarding data transmission. From Chaps. 510, the focus shifts to detailed methodologies, performance metrics, and practical implementations that enhance the security at the physical layer.
Despite extensive research and proposed solutions, the book cannot but conclude with a call for further investigation into securing PLC networks. We also suggest future directions for research with actionable impact that could support broader domains such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, highlighting the dynamic and evolving nature of the field.
Javier Hernandez Fernandez, Aymen Omri, Roberto Di Pietro
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Physical Layer Security in Power Line Communications
Authors
Javier Hernandez Fernandez
Aymen Omri
Roberto Di Pietro
Copyright Year
2024
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-57349-1
Print ISBN
978-3-031-57348-4
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-57349-1

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