Visible to the public Biblio

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2016
Etigowni, Sriharsha, Tian, Dave(Jing), Hernandez, Grant, Zonouz, Saman, Butler, Kevin.  2016.  CPAC: Securing Critical Infrastructure with Cyber-physical Access Control. Proceedings of the 32Nd Annual Conference on Computer Security Applications. :139–152.

Critical infrastructure such as the power grid has become increasingly complex. The addition of computing elements to traditional physical components increases complexity and hampers insight into how elements in the system interact with each other. The result is an infrastructure where operational mistakes, some of which cannot be distinguished from attacks, are more difficult to prevent and have greater potential impact, such as leaking sensitive information to the operator or attacker. In this paper, we present CPAC, a cyber-physical access control solution to manage complexity and mitigate threats in cyber-physical environments, with a focus on the electrical smart grid. CPAC uses information flow analysis based on mathematical models of the physical grid to generate policies enforced through verifiable logic. At the device side, CPAC combines symbolic execution with lightweight dynamic execution monitoring to allow non-intrusive taint analysis on programmable logic controllers in realtime. These components work together to provide a realtime view of all system elements, and allow for more robust and finer-grained protections than any previous solution to securing the grid. We implement a prototype of CPAC using Bachmann PLCs and evaluate several real-world incidents that demonstrate its scalability and effectiveness. The policy checking for a nation-wide grid is less than 150 ms, faster than existing solutions. We additionally show that CPAC can analyze potential component failures for arbitrary component failures, far beyond the capabilities of currently deployed systems. CPAC thus provides a solution to secure the modern smart grid from operator mistakes or insider attacks, maintain operational privacy, and support N - x contingencies.

2017
Han, Yi, Etigowni, Sriharsha, Liu, Hua, Zonouz, Saman, Petropulu, Athina.  2017.  Watch Me, but Don'T Touch Me! Contactless Control Flow Monitoring via Electromagnetic Emanations. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :1095–1108.

Trustworthy operation of industrial control systems depends on secure and real-time code execution on the embedded programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The controllers monitor and control the critical infrastructures, such as electric power grids and healthcare platforms, and continuously report back the system status to human operators. We present Zeus, a contactless embedded controller security monitor to ensure its execution control flow integrity. Zeus leverages the electromagnetic emission by the PLC circuitry during the execution of the controller programs. Zeus's contactless execution tracking enables non-intrusive monitoring of security-critical controllers with tight real-time constraints. Those devices often cannot tolerate the cost and performance overhead that comes with additional traditional hardware or software monitoring modules. Furthermore, Zeus provides an air-gap between the monitor (trusted computing base) and the target (potentially compromised) PLC. This eliminates the possibility of the monitor infection by the same attack vectors. Zeus monitors for control flow integrity of the PLC program execution. Zeus monitors the communications between the human machine interface and the PLC, and captures the control logic binary uploads to the PLC. Zeus exercises its feasible execution paths, and fingerprints their emissions using an external electromagnetic sensor. Zeus trains a neural network for legitimate PLC executions, and uses it at runtime to identify the control flow based on PLC's electromagnetic emissions. We implemented Zeus on a commercial Allen Bradley PLC, which is widely used in industry, and evaluated it on real-world control program executions. Zeus was able to distinguish between different legitimate and malicious executions with 98.9% accuracy and with zero overhead on PLC execution by design.

2019
Huang, Hao, Kazerooni, Maryam, Hossain-McKenzie, Shamina, Etigowni, Sriharsha, Zonouz, Saman, Davis, Katherine.  2019.  Fast Generation Redispatch Techniques for Automated Remedial Action Schemes. 2019 20th International Conference on Intelligent System Application to Power Systems (ISAP). :1–8.
To ensure power system operational security, it not only requires security incident detection, but also automated intrusion response and recovery mechanisms to tolerate failures and maintain the system's functionalities. In this paper, we present a design procedure for remedial action schemes (RAS) that improves the power systems resiliency against accidental failures or malicious endeavors such as cyber attacks. A resilience-oriented optimal power flow is proposed, which optimizes the system security instead of the generation cost. To improve its speed for online application, a fast greedy algorithm is presented to narrow the search space. The proposed techniques are computationally efficient and are suitable for online RAS applications in large-scale power systems. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods, there are two case studies with IEEE 24-bus and IEEE 118-bus systems.