Though the smart electrical grid promises many advantages in efficiency and reliability, the risks to consumer privacy have impeded its deployment. Researchers have proposed protecting privacy by aggregating user data before it reaches the utility, using techniques of homomorphic encryption to prevent exposure of unaggregated values. However, such schemes generally require users to trust in the correct operation of a single aggregation server. We propose two alternative systems based on secret sharing techniques that distribute this trust among multiple service providers, protecting user privacy against a misbehaving server. We also provide an extensive evaluation of the systems considered, comparing their robustness to privacy compromise, error handling, computational performance, and data transmission costs. We conclude that while all the systems should be computationally feasible on smart meters, the two methods based on secret sharing require much less computation while also providing better protection against corrupted aggregators. Building systems using these techniques could help defend the privacy of electricity customers, as well as customers of other utilities as they move to a more data-driven architecture.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Smart power grids--Security measures; Electronic data processing--Distributed processing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computing Security (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Computing Security (GCCIS)


Sumita Mishra

Advisor/Committee Member

Stanisław P. Radziszowski

Advisor/Committee Member

Matthew Wright


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK3105 .L47 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes