Privacy Disclosure through Smart Meters: Reactive Power Based Attack and Defense

Jingyao Fan, Qinghua Li, Guohong Cao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Smart meters can record fine-grained power consumption data and provide such data to the power supplier through realtime communications. Although smart meters can make power management more efficient and fault-tolerant, they also pose bigger threats to user privacy. Data from smart meters contain fine-grained power consumption information of home appliances and thus can be used to infer the ON/OFF states of home appliances. This problem has received some attention in the literature, however, most of them focus on active power based attacks. This paper focuses on reactive power and demonstrates how attackers can exploit reactive power data to infer appliance usage information. Experiments on real residential smart meter data show that our proposed attack can identify the ON/OFF events of home appliance with high accuracy. To protect users against such attacks, a novel defense technique called Reactive Power Obfuscation (RPO) is proposed. RPO can mask the true reactive power demand from the smart meter by using a capacitor to store and provide reactive power in a controlled manner. We evaluate the performance of RPO based on real household power consumption data. Evaluation results show that the ON/OFF events of home appliances can hardly be revealed from reactive power data when RPO is applied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages13-24
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538605417
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2017
Event47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2017Jun 29 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017

Other

Other47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period6/26/176/29/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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    Fan, J., Li, Q., & Cao, G. (2017). Privacy Disclosure through Smart Meters: Reactive Power Based Attack and Defense. In Proceedings - 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017 (pp. 13-24). [8023107] (Proceedings - 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2017). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/DSN.2017.13