Resilient, Auditable and Secure IoT-Enabled Smart Inverter Firmware Amendments With Blockchain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The solar industry in residential areas has been witnessing an astonishing growth worldwide. At the heart of this transformation, affecting the edge of the electricity grid, reside smart inverters (SIs). These IoT-enabled devices aim to introduce a certain degree of intelligence to conventional inverters by integrating various grid support capabilities (e.g., voltage and frequency control). However, with the remarkable automation of these devices come enormous security risks. Thus, rising rates of vulnerabilities have increased the necessity for designing resilient, auditable, and secure SIs' firmware over the air (FOTA) amendment schemes suitable for this heterogeneous SIs-based ecosystem. In this regard, we propose leveraging blockchain as an innovative technology to guarantee these cybersecurity requirements. In this article, we present the design of a distributed FOTA scheme, namely, RASSIFAB, governing the process of amending SIs' firmware within residential areas in an immutable and scalable manner. The scheme was implemented on a blockchain test network to assess its functionalities and performance. We also carried out a security evaluation to determine whether RASSIFAB is resistant to various identified threats. The obtained results confirm that the scheme is efficient and sound. They also indicate that RASSIFAB ensures reliable and authentic firmware amendments even with malicious insiders, differentiating our framework from the existing ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8945-8960
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

Keywords

  • Smart Inverters
  • Blockchain
  • Distributed Energy Resources
  • Firmware
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Cyber Security

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