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Technische Universität Darmstadt

1. Demir, Kubilay. A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid.

Degree: PhD, 20 Department of Computer SciencePeer-to-Peer NetzwerkeSecurity, Usability and Society, 2017, Technische Universität Darmstadt

The increasing penetration of distributed power generation into the power distribution domain necessitates reliable and QoS-aware communication in order to safely manage the grid. The management of this complex cyber-physical system, called the Smart Grid (SG), requires responsive, scalable and high-bandwidth communication, which is often beyond the capabilities of the classical closed communication networks of the power grid. Consequently, the use of scalable public IP-based networks is increasingly being advocated. However, a direct consequence of the use of public networks is the exposure of the SG to varied reliability/security risks. In particular, the current Internet infrastructure does not support end-to-end (E2E) QoS-guaranteed communication. Furthermore, public networks' more open structure versus proprietary networks potentially exposes the SG to cyberattacks such as Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed DoS (DDoS) which can compromise the high availability and responsiveness of the SG applications. Thus, there is need for new lightweight mechanisms that can provide both E2E communication guarantees along with strong DoS/DDoS attack protection. To address this requirement, we first propose an overlay network based approach. This approach provides a QoS guarantee across the network with a dedicated QoS routing mechanism taking into account three parameters: reliability, latency and bandwidth for SG applications. To achieve the QoS guarantee, we also develop two additional mechanisms: (a) a multipath routing scheme that satisfies the critical applications' high reliability requirements by employing E2E physically-disjoint paths, and (b) an altruistic resource allocation scheme with the QoS routing mechanism targeting QoS-guaranteed communication for applications having strict QoS requirements. Second, we propose a novel DDoS defense mechanism which leverages: (1) a semi-trusted P2P-based publish-subscribe (pub-sub) system providing a proactive countermeasure for DoS/DDoS attacks and secure group communications by aid of a group key management system, (2) a data diffusion mechanism that spreads the data packets over all the servers versus a single server to provide a robust protection against volume-based DDoS attacks that would affect some of the servers, and (3) a multi-homing-based fast recovery mechanism for detecting and requesting the dropped packets, thus paving the way for meeting the stringent latency requirements of SG applications. Third, we develop a cloud-assisted DDoS attack resilient communication platform, built on the proposed defense mechanism discussed above. To prevent transport or application layer DDoS attacks, this platform implements a port hopping approach, switching the open port of a server over a function of both time and a secret (shared between authorized clients and server), thus efficiently dropping packets with invalid port number. By leveraging the rapid-elasticity characteristic of the cloud, we can instantiate replica servers to take over the attacked servers… Advisors/Committee Members: Suri, Neeraj (advisor), Khelil, Abdelmajid (advisor), Katzenbeisser, Stefan (advisor), Salvaneschi, Guido (advisor), Pradel, Michael (advisor).

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APA (6th Edition):

Demir, K. (2017). A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid. (Doctoral Dissertation). Technische Universität Darmstadt. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Demir, Kubilay. “A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid.” 2017. Doctoral Dissertation, Technische Universität Darmstadt. Accessed December 18, 2018.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Demir, Kubilay. “A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid.” 2017. Web. 18 Dec 2018.


Demir K. A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Technische Universität Darmstadt; 2017. [cited 2018 Dec 18]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Demir K. A Secure and Reliable Communication Platform for the Smart Grid. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Technische Universität Darmstadt; 2017. Available from: