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Hui Lin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Adam Slagell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Catello Di Marino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaugn, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ravishankar K. Iyer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2013.  Adapting Bro into SCADA: Building a Specification-based Instrusion Detection System for the DNP3 Protocol. Eighth Annual Security and Information Intelligence Research Workshop (CSIRRW 2013).

When SCADA systems are exposed to public networks, attackers can more easily penetrate the control systems that operate electrical power grids, water plants, and other critical infrastructures. To detect such attacks, SCADA systems require an intrusion detection technique that can understand the information carried by their usually proprietary network protocols.

To achieve that goal, we propose to attach to SCADA systems a specification-based intrusion detection framework based on Bro [7][8], a runtime network traffic analyzer. We have built a parser in Bro to support DNP3, a network protocol widely used in SCADA systems that operate electrical power grids. This built-in parser provides a clear view of all network events related to SCADA systems. Consequently, security policies to analyze SCADA-specific semantics related to the network events can be accurately defined. As a proof of concept, we specify a protocol validation policy to verify that the semantics of the data extracted from network packets conform to protocol definitions. We performed an experimental evaluation to study the processing capabilities of the proposed intrusion detection framework.

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Hui Lin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Homa Alemzadeh, IBM TJ Watson, Daniel Chen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagin, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ravishankar K. Iyer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2016.  Safety-critical Cyber-physical Attacks: Analysis, Detection, and Mitigation. Symposium and Bootcamp for the Science of Security (HotSoS 2016).

Today's cyber-physical systems (CPSs) can have very different characteristics in terms of control algorithms, configurations, underlying infrastructure, communication protocols, and real-time requirements. Despite these variations, they all face the threat of malicious attacks that exploit the vulnerabilities in the cyber domain as footholds to introduce safety violations in the physical processes. In this paper, we focus on a class of attacks that impact the physical processes without introducing anomalies in the cyber domain. We present the common challenges in detecting this type of attacks in the contexts of two very different CPSs (i.e., power grids and surgical robots). In addition, we present a general principle for detecting such cyber-physical attacks, which combine the knowledge of both cyber and physical domains to estimate the adverse consequences of malicious activities in a timely manner.

Hui Lin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Adam Slagell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Peter W. Sauer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ravishankar K. Iyer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2013.  Semantic Security Analysis of SCADA Networks to Detect Malicious Control Commands in Power Grids. First ACM Workshop on Smart Engergy Grid Security.

In the current generation of SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems used in power grids, a sophisticated attacker can exploit system vulnerabilities and use a legitimate maliciously crafted command to cause a wide range of system changes that traditional contingency analysis does not consider and remedial action schemes cannot handle. To detect such malicious commands, we propose a semantic analysis framework based on a distributed network of intrusion detection systems (IDSes). The framework combines system knowledge of both cyber and physical infrastructure in power grid to help IDS to estimate execution consequences of control commands, thus to reveal attacker’s malicious intentions. We evaluated the approach on the IEEE 30-bus system. Our experiments demonstrate that: (i) by opening 3 transmission lines, an attacker can avoid detection by the traditional contingency analysis and instantly put the tested 30-bus system into an insecure state and (ii) the semantic analysis provides reliable detection of malicious commands with a small amount of analysis time.

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