Attested Metering

There is an international push toward a more advanced infrastructure for the metering of electrical usage.  This is driven by applications like demand response, distributed energy resources, outage management, prepayment schemes, and improved theft detection as well as a desire to eliminate the expense of manually reading the meters in the field. Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) aims to accomplish this with computer controlled meters linked by digital networks, often envisioned as linking with household systems like Programmable Communicating Thermostats (PCTs) or pluggable hybrid automobiles. While AMI could bring significant benefits, it is potentially subject to security violations such as tampering with the software in the meters, eavesdropping on its communication links, or abusing the copious amount of private data the new meters are able to collect. With anticipated deployments of millions of advanced meters, high costs for replacing meters, and greater dependence on AMI for the stability and financial integrity of the power grid, these threats must be taken seriously.  For an overview of these threats, see our page on AMI Security. The attested meter project aims to develop applications and security technologies for AMI. Our areas of focus include:

  • Platform integrity monitoring: To recover from attacks on advanced meters that involve replacing the firmware image on the meter’s embedded microcontroller with a malicious image, a mechanism must be provided to securely monitor the state of the meter’s firmware from a remote device on the network.
  • Demand response communications: Demand Response (DR) is the process of adapting a premise’s consumption based upon direct commands issued by an Electrical Service Provider (ESP), or real-time prices from that ESP.  The purpose of DR from a utility standpoint is “peak-shaving,” or reducing peak electrical demand on the grid.  The benefits to customers include higher availability (lower probability of grid overload, causing blackouts), and potentially lower costs if they shift utilization to low price periods.  The actual mechanisms for coordinating customer responses are being explored in this project.
  • Emergency response networking: Natural and man-made disasters can destroy network infrastructures, potentially separating disaster victims from rescuers and other concerned parties.  This project has developed a set of protocols that permits whatever networks survive the disaster to provide limited communications, regardless of the network layers in use.



Network-on-Chip Firewall: Countering Defective and Malicious System-on-Chip Hardware,
Michael LeMay and Carl A. Gunter.
arXiv:1404.3465 [cs.CR], April 2014.

Reliable Telemetry in White Spaces using Remote Attestation
Omid Fatemieh, Michael LeMay, and Carl A. Gunter
Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC ’11), Orlando, FL, December 2011. [PPT][BIB][Related]

Compact Integrity-Aware Architectures
Michael LeMay
Doctoral Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 2011. [BIB][Related]

Enforcing Executing-Implies-Verified with the Integrity-Aware Processor
Michael LeMay and Carl A. Gunter
International Conference on Trust and Trustworthy Computing (TRUST ’11), Pittsburgh, PA, June 2011. [PPT][BIB][Related]
The original publication is available at

Cumulative Attestation Kernels for Embedded Systems
Michael LeMay and Carl A. Gunter
European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS ’09), Saint Malo, France, September 2009. The original publication is available at [PPT][Related]

Collaborative Recommender Systems for Building Automation
Michael LeMay, Jason J. Haas and Carl A. Gunter
IEEE Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS ’09), Waikoloa, HI, January 2009. [PPT][BIB][Related]

Dependable Emergency-Response Networking Based on Retaskable Network Infrastructures
Michael LeMay
Master of Science Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 2008. [BIB]

An Integrated Architecture for Demand Response Communications and Control (awarded best paper)
Michael LeMay, Rajesh Nelli, George Gross and Carl A. Gunter
IEEE Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS ’08), Waikoloa, HI, January 2008. [PPT][BIB][Related]

Supporting Emergency-Response by Retasking Network Infrastructures
Michael LeMay and Carl A. Gunter
ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networking (HotNets-VI), Atlanta, GA, November 2007. [PPT][BIB][Related]

Unified Architecture for Large-Scale Attested Metering
Michael LeMay, George Gross, Carl A. Gunter and Sanjam Garg
IEEE Hawaii International Conference On System Sciences (HICSS ’07), Waikoloa, HI, January 2007. [PPT][BIB][Related]

Last updated on Thursday, June 26, 2014, 12:52 pm