Greetings from the Swiss Blockchain Winter School

Swiss Blockchain Winter School1
Photo: FH Salzburg/Brunner

Researcher Clemens Brunner from the Center for Secure Energy Informatics is currently taking part in the Swiss Blockchain Winter School in Interlaken. Together with researchers from the Security and Privacy Lab of the University of Innsbruck he is attending keynotes and lectures on innovative blockchain work by renowned academic researchers and industrial practitioners.

The Winter School aims to bring together students, academic researchers, industry professionals, and government employees for an in-depth exchange on the latest trends and developments around cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and decentralized applications.

Dominik Engel Appointed to the Scientific Board of the Christian Doppler Research Association

FH-Prof. Dominik Engel, head of the Center for Secure Energy Informatics at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, was appointed to the top-class scientific board of the Christian Doppler Reserach Association (CDG). © H. Kirchner

FH-Prof. Dominik Engel, head of the Center for Secure Energy Informatics at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, was appointed to the top-class scientific board of the Christian Doppler Reserach Association (CDG) in December.

Since 2010 Dominik Engel is senior lecturer and researcher at the degree program Information Technology & Systems Management at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS) and an expert in IT security and privacy, especially in the area of digital energy systems. Since January 2018 Engel heads the Center for Secure Energy Informatics at SUAS, a successor of the Josef Ressel Center for User-Centric Smart Grid Privacy, Security and Control. Due to his extensive research work and expertise in the field of IT security, in December 2018 he was nominated by the executive board of the CDG to join the scientific board of the Christian Doppler Research Association.

The Christian Doppler Research Association

The scientific board of the Christian Doppler Research Association plays an essential role in the scientific review and selection of Christian Doppler Laboratories and Josef Ressel Centers. It consists of highly qualified personalities from the worlds of science and business and is an essential part of the Austrian research landscape. The members assess scientific frameworks as well as applications for research units and evaluate the progress of research in the submitted and funded projects. The funded research takes place at Christian Doppler Laboratories in universities and in non-university research institutions as well as at Josef Ressel Centers in universities of applied sciences. The research questions are always based on a research issue of a company.

Connecting the Dots in Paris

Photo: FH Salzburg/pexels

Christoph Binder presented the research paper “Towards a Standards-Based Domain Specific Language for Industry 4.0 Architectures” at the International Conference on Complex Systems Design & Management in France.

The Industry 4.0 revolution made it possible to constantly monitor information and synchronize it with any other component participating in the value chain of industrial manufacturing. However, developing architectures for this kind of systems is a challenging and complex task including a lot of different stakeholders. General managers, requirements engineers, hardware developers and other need to bring together their knowledge and experience. Therefore, a common methodology that is understood by all stakeholders is necessary as an entry point for discussions and to build a common understanding.

In this paper, a Domain Specific Language (DSL) especially adapted for Industry 4.0 and comprehensible for all stakeholders is used to connect all participants and ensure traceability within the model. A Domain Specific Systems Engineering approach using this DSL is proposed and evaluated by a case study of a fictive shoe manufacturing company.

  • [PDF] C. Binder, C. Neureiter, G. Lastro, M. Uslar, and P. Lieber, “Towards a Standards-Based Domain Specific Language for Industry 4.0 Architectures,” in Complex Systems Design & Management, Cham, 2019, p. 44–55.
    [Bibtex]
    @InProceedings{Binder19a,
    author={Binder, Christoph
    and Neureiter, Christian
    and Lastro, Goran
    and Uslar, Mathias
    and Lieber, Peter},
    editor={Bonjour, Eric
    and Krob, Daniel
    and Palladino, Luca
    and Stephan, Fran{\c{c}}ois},
    title={Towards a Standards-Based Domain Specific Language for Industry 4.0 Architectures},
    booktitle={Complex Systems Design {\&} Management},
    year={2019},
    publisher={Springer International Publishing},
    address={Cham},
    pages={44--55},
    isbn={978-3-030-04209-7},
    pdf = {http://www.en-trust.at/papers/Binder19a.pdf},
    }

Publication on Privacy Proofs for Energy Consumption Aggregation Protocols

We are starting the new year with a new publication on privacy-preserving aggregation protocols in the Smart Grid. Andreas Unterweger, Fabian Knirsch, Günther Eibl and Dominik Engel from the Center for Secure Energy Informatics contributed to this publication in the Journal IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid.

The paper provides a guideline on how to prove the privacy guarantees of aggregation protocols which is important for protocol developers in the energy domain. Although the proving method is very technical, an easy-to-understand way to communicate these derived privacy guarantees is shown which makes a comparison of the results feasible also for non-experts.

  • [PDF] [DOI] A. Unterweger, S. Taheri-Boshrooyeh, G. Eibl, F. Knirsch, A. Küpçü, and D. Engel, “Understanding Game-Based Privacy Proofs for Energy Consumption Aggregation Protocols,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 2018.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{Unterweger18b,
    author = {Unterweger, Andreas and Taheri-Boshrooyeh, Sanaz and Eibl, G{\"{u}}nther and Knirsch, Fabian and K{\"{u}}p{\c{c}}{\"{u}}, Alptekin and Engel, Dominik},
    journal = {IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    title = {{Understanding Game-Based Privacy Proofs for Energy Consumption
    Aggregation Protocols}},
    year = {2018},
    note = {early access.},
    pdf = {http://www.en-trust.at/papers/Unterweger18b.pdf},
    doi = {10.1109/TSG.2018.2883951},
    }

Stefan Binna wins AK science award 2018

We are proud to announce that Stefan Binna, former CSE laboratory assistant and alumnus of the Information Technology and Systems Management program at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences was awarded for his master thesis on “Intrusion Detection in Cyber-Physical Systems”. He received the science award 2018 granted by the Austrian worker’s chamber.

Congratulations!

AK science award 2018 Stefan Binna

Stefan Binna (4th from left in the back) at the award ceremony. (c) AK/Lindhuber

 

Best Session Presentation for Oliver Langthaler at ICUMT in Russia

ICUMT 2018 Oliver Langthaler

Oliver Langthaler presented the challenges and current progress of the project VirtueGrid at ICUMT in Moscow. Photo: FH Salzburg / ICUMT

Langthaler participated in the 10th International Congress on Ultra Modern Telecommunications and Control Systems (ICUMT) from 4 – 6 November 2018 in Moscow, Russia. Chair Francesco Marcelloni awarded Langthaler’s presentation on “Enabling Application Independent Redundancy by Using Software Defined Networking” as the best within the session for practical implementations of control systems.

In his presentation, Oliver Langthaler reported on the challenges and current progress of the project VirtueGrid, which investigates, how virtualization and software defined networking can be used to increase system reliability, minimize configuration effort and improve situational awareness in the domain of Smart Grid IT infrastructure.

The ICUMT congress organized jointly by RUDN University, Brno University of Technology, Tampere University of Technology as well as several industrial partners and brings together leading international players in telecommunications, control systems, automation and robotics.

Andreas Unterweger Contributed to EU Blockchain Round Table

On 30 October 2018 CSE researcher Andreas Unterweger was invited to Brussels to serve as an academic expert in the iCPS Blockchain Europe Round Table.

Unterweger provided expertise on necessary EU actions in the current legislative period to support the early adoption of blockchain technologies. One of the topics was the conflict between GDPR with its focus on the right of data deletion, and the aim of blockchain to keep a final and definitive record of transactions.

Apart from academic experts the round table consisted of national representatives, technology and advocacy groups, industry stakeholders as well as policymakers.

Outcomes of the discussion will be published as a Blockchain Report in the Government Gazette. As a participant of the roundtable, Unterweger was invited to contribute to this report.

Andreas Unterweger EU Flag

Dr. Andreas Unterweger provided expertise on necessary EU actions. Photo: FH Salzburg / Unterweger / pixabay

SUAS hosted 15th Austrian IT Security Day

About 120 participants joined the 15th Austrian IT Security Day (Österreichischer IT-Sicherheitstag) on November 14, 2018 at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS). The 11 lectures were clustered in organizational, technical and legal aspects of IT security as well as hacking.

The program covered, among other topics:
– The risk sits IN FRONT of the screen
– How to deal with security and risks in the real and virtual world
– Selected questions about GDPR and DPA
– Car hacking

Goal of the yearly event organized by Peter Schartner from the University of Klagenfurt System Security Group and Dominik Engel, head of the Center for Secure Energy Informatics, is to provide comprehensible, practical and economically justifiable solutions to IT security questions.

Austrian IT Security Day

Austrian IT Security Day

Austrian IT Security Day

Dominik Engel Holds Keynote at DACH+ Conference

Mid of October a delegation of CSE-researchers travelled to Oldenburg to participate in the annual DACH+ Conference on Energy Informatics. Dominik Engel and Günther Eibl contributed with a keynote and a paper presentation, respectively.

In his keynote, Dominik Engel, head of the CSE, addressed the question if cyber defense of future energy systems is a lost cause, as the systems are perceived as too complex to be secured properly. He reviewed current threats and trends in cyber security and discussed the state of the art in counter-measures, including new approaches such as blockchain technology.

Dominik Engel held a keynote on whether cyber defense of future energy systems is a lost cause

Günther Eibl nominated for best paper award

Together with Kaibin Bao and Hartmut Schmeck from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as well as Daniel Bernau and Philip Grassal from SAP, CSE researcher Prof. (FH) Dr. Günther Eibl published the paper The Influence of Differential Privacy on Short Term Electric Load Forecasting which was presented at the conference and among the top four shortlisted for the best paper award.

In this paper they evaluated whether using smart metering data provides an actual benefit for the energy provider to refine the forecast of domestic loads of their customers while preserving their privacy. They examined a methodology on how to collect the necessary data in smaller zones to reach more accurate forecasts for the bigger balancing group without weakening the data privacy protection. This was done by applying the differential privacy technology, in which privacy is preserved by adding an accurately defined noise to each small zone. Results showed that the three well-documented load forecasting approaches that were used are variously susceptible to noise. For one forecasting approach, however, reasonable utility was reached while providing a strong privacy guarantee.

  • [PDF] [DOI] G. Eibl, K. Bao, P. Grassal, D. Bernau, and H. Schmeck, “The influence of differential privacy on short term electric load forecasting,” Energy Informatics, vol. 1, iss. 1, p. 93–113, 2018.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Eibl18b,
    author={Eibl, G{\"u}nther
    and Bao, Kaibin
    and Grassal, Philip-William
    and Bernau, Daniel
    and Schmeck, Hartmut},
    title= {The influence of differential privacy on short term electric load forecasting},
    journal= {Energy Informatics},
    year= {2018},
    month= {Oct},
    day={10},
    volume={1},
    number={1},
    pages={93--113},
    abstract={There has been a large number of contributions on privacy-preserving smart metering with Differential Privacy, addressing questions from actual enforcement at the smart meter to billing at the energy provider. However, exploitation is mostly limited to application of cryptographic security means between smart meters and energy providers. We illustrate along the use case of privacy preserving load forecasting that Differential Privacy is indeed a valuable addition that unlocks novel information flows for optimization. We show that (i) there are large differences in utility along three selected forecasting methods, (ii) energy providers can enjoy good utility especially under the linear regression benchmark model, and (iii) households can participate in privacy preserving load forecasting with an individual membership inference risk <60{\%}, only 10{\%} over random guessing.},
    issn={2520-8942},
    doi={10.1186/s42162-018-0025-3},
    url={https://doi.org/10.1186/s42162-018-0025-3},
    pdf = {https://energyinformatics.springeropen.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s42162-018-0025-3},
    }

In 2019, the renowned DACH+ Energy Informatics conference will take place at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS).

Günther Eibl presenting his paper shortlisted for the best paper award

The CSE delegation: Günther Eibl, Judith Schwarzer and Dominik Engel (left to right)

ComForEn Conference on Blockchains for the Energy Systems

Blockchains for the Energy System was the topic of this year’s Symposium on Communications for Energy Systems (ComForEn) hosted by the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences from October 1st to 2nd 2018.

Center for Secure Energy Informatics (CSE) researcher Dr. Fabian Knirsch presented the blockchain-pilot Prochain. This FFG project analyzes the potential and the challenges of blockchain technology in the distribution system, as well as the degree of customer participation.

Dr. Fabian Knirsch presented the CSE project Prochain at ComForEN

The presentations were followed by an intensive discussion of current research projects, including Prochain as well as the CSE project VirtueGrid lead by DI Armin Veichtlbauer.

The ComForEN symposium brings together energy and information technology experts from science and industry to discuss emerging topics in the context of current Austrian smart grids research projects. The yearly event is an initiative from the Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH and the Austrian Union for Electrical Engineering.

ComForEN conference proceedings (in German)
Conference Website: http://www.comforen.org/