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Smart Grid Mesh Network Security Using Dynamic Key Distribution with Merkle Tree 4-Way Handshaking



Hamid Gharavi


Distributed mesh sensor networks provide cost-effective communications for deployment in various smart grid domains, such as home area networks (HAN), neighborhood area networks (NAN), and substation/plant-generation local area networks. This paper introduces a dynamically updating key distribution strategy to enhance mesh network security against cyber attack. The scheme has been applied to two security protocols known as Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) and Efficient Mesh Security Association (EMSA). Since both protocols utilize 4-way handshaking, we propose a Merkle-tree based handshaking scheme, which is capable of improving the resiliency of the network in a situation where an intruder carries a denial of service attack. Finally, by developing a denial of service attack model, we can then evaluate the security of the proposed schemes against cyber attack, as well as network performance in terms of delay and overhead.
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid


Smart Grid, wireless mesh networks, security protocols, EMSA, SAE, security attacks, IEEE 802.11s


Gharavi, H. (2013), Smart Grid Mesh Network Security Using Dynamic Key Distribution with Merkle Tree 4-Way Handshaking, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, [online], (Accessed March 2, 2024)
Created October 13, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017