Physical Layer Security for the Smart Grid: Vulnerabilities, Threats, and Countermeasures

Shama Naz Islam, Zubair Baig, Sherali Zeadally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Smart energy systems are becoming an important component of smart cities. The wide adoption of existing computing technologies and communication standards by a smart energy system exposes it to the plethora of threats that exist in cyberspace. In this article, we investigate the vulnerabilities and threats associated with smart energy system components, including Internet of Things enabled devices, as well as relevant communication standards, and we discuss countermeasures against adversarial attacks. We found that the existing literature has reported various attacks, including modification, denial-of-service, malware, and message replay, which can cause malfunctioning of different components of a smart energy system. In addition, we propose a framework for securing the physical layer of the smart energy system. The framework is based on advanced key generation, machine learning, and physical layer security techniques, which enhance the security of smart energy systems across different applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8777171
Pages (from-to)6522-6530
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.


  • Information security
  • physical layer
  • smart grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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