PLC Systems under the Presence of a Malicious Wireless Communication Device: Physical Layer Security Analyses

Andrei Camponogara, H. Vincent Poor, Moises Vidal Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article investigates the physical layer security (PLS) of a broadband in-home power line communication (PLC) system when a malicious wireless communication device tries to eavesdrop upon private messages exchanged between two PLC devices. Such a security issue arises when electric power circuits, which are used for data communication, are constituted of unshielded power cables. This kind of investigation offers the direction for dealing with the PLS aspects of broadband in-home PLC systems. A data set of channel estimates and additive noises obtained from a measurement campaign carried out in several houses is used for providing practical results. The attained results show high values of the secrecy outage probability for all chosen values of the target secrecy rate and the total transmission power when the PLC devices are around 6 m away from each other and the eavesdropper is less than 2 m away from the PLC transmitter. Overall, the numerical results show that the vulnerability of broadband in-home PLC systems, in terms of PLS, may be relevant. Therefore, a rethinking of the use of unshielded power cables or new designs of broadband in-home PLC systems deserves special attention for ensuring PLS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8995538
Pages (from-to)4901-4910
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Systems Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Hybrid wiretap channel model
  • physical layer security (PLS)
  • power line communications (PLCs)
  • secrecy outage probability
  • wireless communications (WLCs)


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