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  1. Due to the critical importance of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) to the operations of cities and countries, research into the security of critical infrastructure has become increasingly relevant and necessary. As a component of both the research and application sides of smart city development, accurate and precise modeling, simulation, and verification are key parts of a robust design and development tools that provide critical assistance in the prevention, detection, and recovery from abnormal behavior in the sensors, controllers, and actuators which make up a modern ICS system. However, while these tools have potential, there is currently a need for helper-toolsmore »to assist with their setup and configuration, if they are to be utilized widely. Existing state-of-the-art tools are often technically complex and difficult to customize for any given IoT/ICS processes. This is a serious barrier to entry for most technicians, engineers, researchers, and smart city planners, while slowing down the critical aspects of safety and security verification. To remedy this issue, we take a case study of existing simulation toolkits within the field of water management and expand on existing tools and algorithms with simplistic automated retrieval functionality using a much more in-depth and usable customization interface to accelerate simulation scenario design and implementation, allowing for customization of the cyber-physical network infrastructure and cyber attack scenarios. We additionally provide a novel in tool assessment of network’s resilience according to graph theory path diversity. Further, we lay out a roadmap for future development and application of the proposed tool, including expansions on resiliency and potential vulnerability model checking, and discuss applications of our work to other fields relevant to the design and operation of smart cities.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 6, 2022
  2. The concern regarding users’ data privacy has risen to its highest level due to the massive increase in communication platforms, social networking sites, and greater users’ participation in online public discourse. An increasing number of people exchange private information via emails, text messages, and social media without being aware of the risks and implications. Researchers in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) have concentrated on creating tools and strategies to identify, categorize, and sanitize private information in text data since a substantial amount of data is exchanged in textual form. However, most of the detection methods solely rely onmore »the existence of pre-identified keywords in the text and disregard the inference of underlying meaning of the utterance in a specific context. Hence, in some situations these tools and algorithms fail to detect disclosure, or the produced results are miss classified. In this paper, we propose a multi-input, multi-output hybrid neural network which utilizes transfer-learning, linguistics, and metadata to learn the hidden patterns. Our goal is to better classify disclosure/non-disclosure content in terms of the context of situation. We trained and evaluated our model on a human-annotated ground truth dataset, containing a total of 5,400 tweets. The results show that the proposed model was able to identify privacy disclosure through tweets with an accuracy of 77.4% while classifying the information type of those tweets with an impressive accuracy of 99%, by jointly learning for two separate tasks.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 18, 2022
  3. In order to create user-centric and personalized privacy management tools, the underlying models must account for individual users’ privacy expectations, preferences, and their ability to control their information sharing activities. Existing studies of users’ privacy behavior modeling attempt to frame the problem from a request’s perspective, which lack the crucial involvement of the information owner, resulting in limited or no control of policy management. Moreover, very few of them take into the consideration the aspect of correctness, explainability, usability, and acceptance of the methodologies for each user of the system. In this paper, we present a methodology to formally model,more »validate, and verify personalized privacy disclosure behavior based on the analysis of the user’s situational decision-making process. We use a model checking tool named UPPAAL to represent users’ self-reported privacy disclosure behavior by an extended form of finite state automata (FSA), and perform reachability analysis for the verification of privacy properties through computation tree logic (CTL) formulas. We also describe the practical use cases of the methodology depicting the potential of formal technique towards the design and development of user-centric behavioral modeling. This paper, through extensive amounts of experimental outcomes, contributes several insights to the area of formal methods and user-tailored privacy behavior modeling.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2022
  4. To account for privacy perceptions and preferences in user models and develop personalized privacy systems, we need to understand how users make privacy decisions in various contexts. Existing studies of privacy perceptions and behavior focus on overall tendencies toward privacy, but few have examined the context-specific factors in privacy decision making. We conducted a survey on Mechanical Turk (N=401) based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to measure the way users’ perceptions of privacy factors and intent to disclose information are affected by three situational factors embodied hypothetical scenarios: information type, recipients’ role, and trust source. Results showed amore »positive relationship between subjective norms and perceived behavioral control, and between each of these and situational privacy attitude; all three constructs are significantly positively associated with intent to disclose. These findings also suggest that, situational factors predict participants’ privacy decisions through their influence on the TPB constructs.« less
  5. The electrical power system is the backbone of our nations critical infrastructure. It has been designed to withstand single component failures based on a set of reliability metrics which have proven acceptable during normal operating conditions. However, in recent years there has been an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Many have resulted in widespread long-term power outages, proving reliability metrics do not provide adequate energy security. As a result, researchers have focused their efforts resilience metrics to ensure efficient operation of power systems during extreme events. A resilient system has the ability to resist, adapt, and recover from disruptions.more »Therefore, resilience has demonstrated itself as a promising concept for currently faced challenges in power distribution systems. In this work, we propose an operational resilience metric for modern power distribution systems. The metric is based on the aggregation of system assets adaptive capacity in real and reactive power. This metric gives information to the magnitude and duration of a disturbance the system can withstand. We demonstrate resilience metric in a case study under normal operation and during a power contingency on a microgrid. In the future, this information can be used by operators to make more informed decisions based on system resilience in an effort to prevent power outages.« less
  6. Motivated by decreased cost and climate change concerns, the penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy generation and battery energy storage has been continually increasing. The variability in solar PV power generation has led to many new challenges for utilities and researchers. One challenge is the quantification of the resilience contribution to the grid from its assets and is the topic of this paper. In this work, we propose a framework for evaluating the resilience contribution of solar generation and battery storage assets on the grid. The metric provides a quantifiable adaptive capacity measure in terms of real and reactive powermore »and includes uncertainty for solar PV assets. A case study using very short-term and short-term solar generation forecast demonstrates the framework and provides useful insight to the resilience solar and battery storage assets can contribute to the grid.« less
  7. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are used to control physical processes in critical infrastructure. These systems are used in a wide variety of operations such as water treatment, power generation and distribution, and manufacturing. While the safety and security of these systems are of serious concern, recent reports have shown an increase in targeted attacks aimed at manipulating physical processes to cause catastrophic consequences. This trend emphasizes the need for algorithms and tools that provide resilient and smart attack detection mechanisms to protect ICS. In this paper, we propose an anomaly detection framework for ICS based on a deep neural network.more »The proposed methodology uses dilated convolution and long short-term memory (LSTM) layers to learn temporal as well as long term dependencies within sensor and actuator data in an ICS. The sensor/actuator data are passed through a unique feature engineering pipeline where wavelet transformation is applied to the sensor signals to extract features that are fed into the model. Additionally, this paper explores four variations of supervised deep learning models, as well as an unsupervised support vector machine (SVM) model for this problem. The proposed framework is validated on Secure Water Treatment testbed results. This framework detects more attacks in a shorter period of time than previously published methods.« less
  8. Data and information privacy is a major concern of today’s world. More specifically, users’ digital privacy has become one of the most important issues to deal with, as advancements are being made in information sharing technology. An increasing number of users are sharing information through text messages, emails, and social media without proper awareness of privacy threats and their consequences. One approach to prevent the disclosure of private information is to identify them in a conversation and warn the dispatcher before the conveyance happens between the sender and the receiver. Another way of preventing information (sensitive) loss might be tomore »analyze and sanitize a batch of offline documents when the data is already accumulated somewhere. However, automating the process of identifying user-centric privacy disclosure in textual data is challenging. This is because the natural language has an extremely rich form and structure with different levels of ambiguities. Therefore, we inquire after a potential framework that could bring this challenge within reach by precisely recognizing users’ privacy disclosures in a piece of text by taking into account - the authorship and sentiment (tone) of the content alongside the linguistic features and techniques. The proposed framework is considered as the supporting plugin to help text classification systems more accurately identify text that might disclose the author’s personal or private information.« less
  9. This paper focuses on the design and development of attack models on the sensory channels and an Intrusion Detection system (IDS) to protect the system from these types of attacks. The encoding/decoding formulas are defined to inject a bit of data into the sensory channel. In addition, a signal sampling technique is utilized for feature extraction. Further, an IDS framework is proposed to reside on the devices that are connected to the sensory channels to actively monitor the signals for anomaly detection. The results obtained based on our experiments have shown that the one-class SVM paired with Fourier transformation wasmore »able to detect new or Zero-day attacks.« less
  10. Abstract

    Thermostatically Controlled Loads (TCLs) have shown great potential for Demand Response (DR) events. The focus of this study is to investigate the effects of adding communication throughout a population of TCLs on the resilience of the system. A Metric for resilience is calculated on varying populations of TCLs and verified with agent based modeling simulations. At the core of this study is an added thermostat criterion created from the combination of a proportional gain and the average compressor operating state of neighboring TCLs. Differing connection architectures are also analyzed. Resilience of the systems under different connection topologies, are calculatedmore »by analyzing algebraic connectivity at varying population sizes. The resilience analysis was verified through simulation. Results of the analysis show the effect of on delay schemes and connection architecture on stability limit of each system. Good concurrence was found between predicted and observed resilience for smaller dead-band sizes. Simulations showed varying results on the effect of a simulated attack based on location of the attack within the population.

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