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With the widespread use of smart metering and industrial control devices, a new challenge has emerged - that of allowing the utility companies and hardware manufactures to develop and deploy devices running operation code (“firmware”) that can be updated remotely, but in a way that does not endanger the electrical grid. While modern cryptography provides tools for addressing this challenge, it may not be enough. We propose here a method for securely updating the software controlling devices connected to an Alternating Current network that offers an added, stronger layer of protection against malicious code updates. This is achieved by allowing only the power generating authority to open a special “window” within which the devices accept such updates.
Date of Conference: 5-7 Dec. 2011