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Cybersecurity in the Electric Infrastructure of Smart Cities


Start 2015 – Finish 2016


The possibility to know the weaknesses, regarding security, to which the current energy telemanagement infrastructure is exposed, permit to detect and correct those weak points. Thus, a reliable and safe communication between elements forming the different infrastructures of Smart Cities is achieved, bringing to a more efficient global performance.


The project aims at designing and developing tools to test cybersecurity vulnerability and intrusion scenarios, to which a Smart City is exposed and that are related to its electric infrastructure, focusing on telemanagement infrastructures that are responsible for the communication between meters and concentrators. Specific aims are:

  • To know in-deep safety mechanisms used in the different levels of communication in the electricity metering infrastructure of the Smart City.
  • To identify safety barriers and weak points to which the electric grid communication infrastructure is exposed.
  • To study developed techniques and tools that permit to ensure an appropriate cybersecurity level of equipments and that protect them from threats.
  • To analyze the typologies of possible attacks that permit to develop prevention and defence mechanisms.
  • To design and develop software application that enables the increase of security in the management of low voltage energy assets in the whole communication chain.
  • To define tests that permit to evaluate the safety degree in energy assets of the electricity metering infrastructure.


Results 2015:

During this first year, studies have been carried out to define the current situation of cybersecurity in communication protocols and standards for the management of electricity grids, focusing on systems for the telemanagement of low voltage energy assets. Through these activities they have been developed:

  • Encryption techniques and security levels currently included in the protocol DLMS/COSEM.
  • Analysis of IEC 62351 standards for cybersecurity in communication in the energy sector.
  • Analysis of cyberattacks techniques and classification of detection and mitigation methods in communication networks (Intrusion Detection System or IDS).
  • Definition of the main elements of the telemetry management grid and evaluation of the cybersecurity risk and its possible impact.
  • Definition of the main typologies of threats and vulnerability risks for communication networks in electrical systems, especially in Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMI)
  • Definition of cases of use of requirements of cybersecurity in AMIs.

Results 2016:

Results of the project in the second year of its development are:

  • Development and implementation of software encrypting modules for communication in the low voltage energy infrastructure according to protocols and standards.
  • Development of solutions for the analysis of information in communication with meters and detection of common patterns and data in messages, which could threaten the security and privacy of the information.
  • Development of a software telemanagement module that enables the testing of cyberattacks and the visibility of communication in the whole chain of elements involved in the metering infrastructure.

Project file: IMAMCL/2016/1

Funding: proyecto framed within the activity plan PROMECE.  Funding amount: 796,733 Euros