Visible to the public Causal Chain of Time Delay Attack on Synchronous Generator Control

TitleCausal Chain of Time Delay Attack on Synchronous Generator Control
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsKushal, T. R. B., Gao, Z., Wang, J., Illindala, M. S.
Conference Name2020 IEEE Power Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)
Date PublishedAug. 2020
ISBN Number978-1-7281-5508-1
Keywordsattack tree, attack vector, Chained Attacks, communication technology, Cyber Attacks, cyber intrusion, cyber security, cyber-physical causal chain, Cyber-physical systems, cyber-space leading, Delay effects, delays, denial-of-service attack, frequency control, grid cyber security, grid frequency, grid response, load frequency control, modern power grids, physical power grid, power engineering computing, power grids, power system security, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, robust control, SCADA systems, Scalability, security, security of data, synchronous generator control, synchronous generators, Time delay, time delay attack, Time measurement

Wide integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in modern power grids has brought many benefits as well as the risk of cyber attacks. A critical step towards defending grid cyber security is to understand the cyber-physical causal chain, which describes the progression of intrusion in cyber-space leading to the formation of consequences on the physical power grid. In this paper, we develop an attack vector for a time delay attack at load frequency control in the power grid. Distinct from existing works, which are separately focused on cyber intrusion, grid response, or testbed validation, the proposed attack vector for the first time provides a full cyber-physical causal chain. It targets specific vulnerabilities in the protocols, performs a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, induces the delays in control loop, and destabilizes grid frequency. The proposed attack vector is proved in theory, presented as an attack tree, and validated in an experimental environment. The results will provide valuable insights to develop security measures and robust controls against time delay attacks.

Citation Keykushal_causal_2020