skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on January 1, 2025

Title: A Four-layer Cyber-physical Security Model for Electric Machine Drives considering Control Information Flow
Despite the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) establishing Technical Committee 10 on Design Methodologies with a focus on the cyber-physical security of power electronics systems, a holistic design methodology for addressing security vulnerabilities remains underdeveloped. This gap largely stems from the limited integration of computer science and power/control engineering studies in this interdisciplinary field. Addressing the inadequacy of unilateral cyber or control perspectives, this paper presents a novel four-layer cyber-physical security model specifically designed for electric machine drives. Central to this model is the innovative Control Information Flow (CIF) model, residing within the control layer, which serves as a pivotal link between the cyber layer’s vulnerable resources and the physical layer’s state-space models. By mapping vulnerable resources to control variable space and tracing attack propagation, the CIF model facilitates accurate impact predictions based on tainted control laws. The effectiveness and validity of this proposed model are demonstrated through hardware experiments involving two typical cyber-attack scenarios, underscoring its potential as a comprehensive framework for multidisciplinary security strategies.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2102032 2019311
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 1
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Recent advances in machine learning enable wider applications of prediction models in cyber-physical systems. Smart grids are increasingly using distributed sensor settings for distributed sensor fusion and information processing. Load forecasting systems use these sensors to predict future loads to incorporate into dynamic pricing of power and grid maintenance. However, these inference predictors are highly complex and thus vulnerable to adversarial attacks. Moreover, the adversarial attacks are synthetic norm-bounded modifications to a limited number of sensors that can greatly affect the accuracy of the overall predictor. It can be much cheaper and effective to incorporate elements of security and resilience at the earliest stages of design. In this paper, we demonstrate how to analyze the security and resilience of learning-based prediction models in power distribution networks by utilizing a domain-specific deep-learning and testing framework. This framework is developed using DeepForge and enables rapid design and analysis of attack scenarios against distributed smart meters in a power distribution network. It runs the attack simulations in the cloud backend. In addition to the predictor model, we have integrated an anomaly detector to detect adversarial attacks targeting the predictor. We formulate the stealthy adversarial attacks as an optimization problem to maximize prediction loss while minimizing the required perturbations. Under the worst-case setting, where the attacker has full knowledge of both the predictor and the detector, an iterative attack method has been developed to solve for the adversarial perturbation. We demonstrate the framework capabilities using a GridLAB-D based power distribution network model and show how stealthy adversarial attacks can affect smart grid prediction systems even with a partial control of network. 
    more » « less
  2. The increasing penetration of cyber systems into smart grids has resulted in these grids being more vulnerable to cyber physical attacks. The central challenge of higher order cyber-physical contingency analysis is the exponential blow-up of the attack surface due to a large number of attack vectors. This gives rise to computational challenges in devising efficient attack mitigation strategies. However, a system operator can leverage private information about the underlying network to maintain a strategic advantage over an adversary equipped with superior computational capability and situational awareness. In this work, we examine the following scenario: A malicious entity intrudes the cyber-layer of a power network and trips the transmission lines. The objective of the system operator is to deploy security measures in the cyber-layer to minimize the impact of such attacks. Due to budget constraints, the attacker and the system operator have limits on the maximum number of transmission lines they can attack or defend. We model this adversarial interaction as a resource-constrained attacker-defender game. The computational intractability of solving large security games is well known. However, we exploit the approximately modular behavior of an impact metric known as the disturbance value to arrive at a linear-time algorithm for computing an optimal defense strategy. We validate the efficacy of the proposed strategy against attackers of various capabilities and provide an algorithm for a real-time implementation. 
    more » « less
  3. Cyber physical system (CPS) Critical infrastructures (CIs) like the power and energy systems are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks. Mitigating cyber risks in CIs is one of the key objectives of the design and maintenance of these systems. These CPS CIs commonly use legacy devices for remote monitoring and control where complete upgrades are uneconomical and infeasible. Therefore, risk assessment plays an important role in systematically enumerating and selectively securing vulnerable or high-risk assets through optimal investments in the cybersecurity of the CPS CIs. In this paper, we propose a CPS CI security framework and software tool, CySec Game, to be used by the CI industry and academic researchers to assess cyber risks and to optimally allocate cybersecurity investments to mitigate the risks. This framework uses attack tree, attack-defense tree, and game theory algorithms to identify high-risk targets and suggest optimal investments to mitigate the identified risks. We evaluate the efficacy of the framework using the tool by implementing a smart grid case study that shows accurate analysis and feasible implementation of the framework and the tool in this CPS CI environment. 
    more » « less
  4. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) have been increasingly attacked by hackers. CPS are especially vulnerable to attackers that have full knowledge of the system's configuration. Therefore, novel anomaly detection algorithms in the presence of a knowledgeable adversary need to be developed. However, this research is still in its infancy due to limited attack data availability and test beds. By proposing a holistic attack modeling framework, we aim to show the vulnerability of existing detection algorithms and provide a basis for novel sensor-based cyber-attack detection. Stealthy Attack GEneration (SAGE) for CPS serves as a tool for cyber-risk assessment of existing systems and detection algorithms for practitioners and researchers alike. Stealthy attacks are characterized by malicious injections into the CPS through input, output, or both, which produce bounded changes in the detection residue. By using the SAGE framework, we generate stealthy attacks to achieve three objectives: (i) Maximize damage, (ii) Avoid detection, and (iii) Minimize the attack cost. Additionally, an attacker needs to adhere to the physical principles in a CPS (objective iv). The goal of SAGE is to model worst-case attacks, where we assume limited information asymmetries between attackers and defenders (e.g., insider knowledge of the attacker). Those worst-case attacks are the hardest to detect, but common in practice and allow understanding of the maximum conceivable damage. We propose an efficient solution procedure for the novel SAGE optimization problem. The SAGE framework is illustrated in three case studies. Those case studies serve as modeling guidelines for the development of novel attack detection algorithms and comprehensive cyber-physical risk assessment of CPS. The results show that SAGE attacks can cause severe damage to a CPS, while only changing the input control signals minimally. This avoids detection and keeps the cost of an attack low. This highlights the need for more advanced detection algorithms and novel research in cyber-physical security. 
    more » « less
  5. This paper discusses how a cyber attack could take advantage of torsional resonances in the shaft of turbo-generators to inflict severe physical damage to a power system. If attackers were able to take over the control of a battery energy storage device, they could modulate the injection of this device at a frequency that matches one of the sub-synchronous resonance frequencies of a generator. Small changes in injection might be sufficient to excite one of these mechanical resonances, resulting in metal fatigue and ultimately a catastrophic failure in the shaft of the generator. Using a state-space model of the electromechanical system, the paper develops transfer functions linking the magnitude of the malicious injections to the magnitude of oscillations in the speed and angle of the various masses connected to the shaft. Numerical results from a two-area power system demonstrate the existence of vulnerable frequencies and show that damaging mechanical oscillations can be triggered without causing easily detectable signals at the generator terminals. 
    more » « less