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Conference Paper
Lakshminarayana, Subhash, Belmega, E. Veronica, Poor, H. Vincent.  2019.  Moving-Target Defense for Detecting Coordinated Cyber-Physical Attacks in Power Grids. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids (SmartGridComm). :1–7.
This work proposes a moving target defense (MTD) strategy to detect coordinated cyber-physical attacks (CCPAs) against power grids. A CCPA consists of a physical attack, such as disconnecting a transmission line, followed by a coordinated cyber attack that injects false data into the sensor measurements to mask the effects of the physical attack. Such attacks can lead to undetectable line outages and cause significant damage to the grid. The main idea of the proposed approach is to invalidate the knowledge that the attackers use to mask the effects of the physical attack by actively perturbing the grid's transmission line reactances using distributed flexible AC transmission system (D-FACTS) devices. We identify the MTD design criteria in this context to thwart CCPAs. The proposed MTD design consists of two parts. First, we identify the subset of links for D-FACTS device deployment that enables the defender to detect CCPAs against any link in the system. Then, in order to minimize the defense cost during the system's operational time, we use a game-theoretic approach to identify the best subset of links (within the D-FACTS deployment set) to perturb which will provide adequate protection. Extensive simulations performed using the MATPOWER simulator on IEEE bus systems verify the effectiveness of our approach in detecting CCPAs and reducing the operator's defense cost.
Lakshminarayana, Subhash, Teng, Teo Zhan, Yau, David K. Y., Tan, Rui.  2017.  Optimal Attack Against Cyber-Physical Control Systems with Reactive Attack Mitigation. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Future Energy Systems. :179–190.
This paper studies the performance and resilience of a cyber-physical control system (CPCS) with attack detection and reactive attack mitigation. It addresses the problem of deriving an optimal sequence of false data injection attacks that maximizes the state estimation error of the system. The results provide basic understanding about the limit of the attack impact. The design of the optimal attack is based on a Markov decision process (MDP) formulation, which is solved efficiently using the value iteration method. Using the proposed framework, we quantify the effect of false positives and mis-detections on the system performance, which can help the joint design of the attack detection and mitigation. To demonstrate the use of the proposed framework in a real-world CPCS, we consider the voltage control system of power grids, and run extensive simulations using PowerWorld, a high-fidelity power system simulator, to validate our analysis. The results show that by carefully designing the attack sequence using our proposed approach, the attacker can cause a large deviation of the bus voltages from the desired set-point. Further, the results verify the optimality of the derived attack sequence and show that, to cause maximum impact, the attacker must carefully craft his attack to strike a balance between the attack magnitude and stealthiness, due to the simultaneous presence of attack detection and mitigation.
Lakshminarayana, Subhash, Karachiwala, Jabir Shabbir, Chang, Sang-Yoon, Revadigar, Girish, Kumar, Sristi Lakshmi Sravana, Yau, David K.Y., Hu, Yih-Chun.  2018.  Signal Jamming Attacks Against Communication-Based Train Control: Attack Impact and Countermeasure. Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. :160-171.
We study the impact of signal jamming attacks against the communication based train control (CBTC) systems and develop the countermeasures to limit the attacks' impact. CBTC supports the train operation automation and moving-block signaling, which improves the transport efficiency. We consider an attacker jamming the wireless communication between the trains or the train to wayside access point, which can disable CBTC and the corresponding benefits. In contrast to prior work studying jamming only at the physical or link layer, we study the real impact of such attacks on end users, namely train journey time and passenger congestion. Our analysis employs a detailed model of leaky medium-based communication system (leaky waveguide or leaky feeder/coaxial cable) popularly used in CBTC systems. To counteract the jamming attacks, we develop a mitigation approach based on frequency hopping spread spectrum taking into account domain-specific structure of the leaky-medium CBTC systems. Specifically, compared with existing implementations of FHSS, we apply FHSS not only between the transmitter-receiver pair but also at the track-side repeaters. To demonstrate the feasibility of implementing this technology in CBTC systems, we develop a FHSS repeater prototype using software-defined radios on both leaky-medium and open-air (free-wave) channels. We perform extensive simulations driven by realistic running profiles of trains and real-world passenger data to provide insights into the jamming attack's impact and the effectiveness of the proposed countermeasure.