Visible to the public Compromising Security of Economic Dispatch in Power System Operations

TitleCompromising Security of Economic Dispatch in Power System Operations
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsShelar, D., Sun, P., Amin, S., Zonouz, S.
Conference Name2017 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN)
Keywordsbilevel optimization problem, composability, Cyber-physical systems, dynamic networks, Economic dispatch, Economics, Energy management, energy management systems, false data injection attacks, integer programming, Linear programming, Metrics, mixed integer linear program, network security seem like the most relevant keywords, power generation dispatch, power generation economics, power grid operations, power grids, Power system dynamics, power system operations, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, security, semantics-based attack generation, Sensors, Smart grids, Software, true line capacity ratings

Power grid operations rely on the trustworthy operation of critical control center functionalities, including the so-called Economic Dispatch (ED) problem. The ED problem is a large-scale optimization problem that is periodically solved by the system operator to ensure the balance of supply and load while maintaining reliability constraints. In this paper, we propose a semantics-based attack generation and implementation approach to study the security of the ED problem.1 Firstly, we generate optimal attack vectors to transmission line ratings to induce maximum congestion in the critical lines, resulting in the violation of capacity limits. We formulate a bilevel optimization problem in which the attacker chooses manipulations of line capacity ratings to maximinimize the percentage line capacity violations under linear power flows. We reformulate the bilevel problem as a mixed integer linear program that can be solved efficiently. Secondly, we describe how the optimal attack vectors can be implemented in commercial energy management systems (EMSs). The attack explores the dynamic memory space of the EMS, and replaces the true line capacity ratings stored in data regions with the optimal attack vectors. In contrast to the well-known false data injection attacks to control systems that require compromising distributed sensors, our approach directly implements attacks to the control center server. Our experimental results on benchmark power systems and five widely utilized EMSs show the practical feasibility of our attack generation and implementation approach.

Citation Keyshelar_compromising_2017