Visible to the public Foundations of Secure Cyber Physical Systems


Cyber-physical systems regulating critical infrastructures, such as electrical grids and water networks, are increasingly geographically distributed, necessitating communication between remote sensors, actuators and controllers. The combination of networked computational and physical sub- systems leads to new security vulnerabilities that adversaries can exploit with devastating consequences. A synchronized attack on the interdependent network components and physical plants can create complex and new security vulnerabilities that cannot be addressed by securing the constituent systems individually. This project takes a holistic view by utilizing the properties of physical systems to design new secure protocols and architectures for cyber-physical systems (CPS) through a unified conceptual framework, which uses models for the physical system and the communication/computation network to define precise attack models and vulnerabilities. These mathematical models are used to design algorithms and protocols with provable operational security guarantees, thus enabling the design of more trustworthy architectures and components. Research directions include the new state-estimation and control procedures despite sensor/actuator attacks, new sensing mechanisms to defend against sensor attacks and new security mechanisms despite captured control software. We are also carrying out experimentation using ABS sensor brakes.

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Foundations of Secure Cyber Physical Systems