Improving a smart metering system using elliptic curves and removing the trusted dealer
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Fine-grained electricity consumption information has been proven to allow to infer people’s habits from their consumption patterns. Hence, smart metering systems need a secure way to regularly transmit the electricity consumption to the supplier in such a way that the privacy of customers is preserved.
Several proposals can be found in the literature. Some of them, classified as aggregative solutions, organize the meters into groups and employ homomorphic cryptography in such a way that the supplier only obtains the aggregated consumption values of the meters in each group. In this paper we propose a technique which allows to remove the presence of a trusted dealer in one of the most efficient current proposals. Furthermore, we increase the overall performance of the resulting system by employing elliptic curve cryptography. The resulting system only requires a single message sent from each smart meter to its substation, without needing the meters to communicate among them. With the use of elliptic curve cryptography, the only relevant computation that the smart meters need to perform is a single elliptic curve point multiplication by a scalar. The system has been proven to be feasible and practical even for large neigborhoods including several thousands of meters.