Development of Smart Grid Cybersecurity Testbed Project Impact Results La Trobe/RMIT2020-10-02T19:59:43+10:00

POC Impact and Research Team

La Trobe University and RMIT

Identified Challenge in the Cybersecurity Industry: Cyber-attacks on Smart Grid

This project aims to enhance the security of the SCADA connected cyber-physical smart grid by developing a simulation testbed that will allow analysis of the security risks and development of appropriate security solutions to protect smart grid systems. Recently, smart grid cybersecurity has come to the forefront of national security priorities due to several power system cyber-attacks, e.g., recent cyber-attack on Ukraine’s power system that shut down seven 110 kV and twenty-three 35 kV substations leaving 225,000 people without power. The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) reported that among the 245 cyber incidents across all sectors of the US critical infrastructure in 2014, the majority (32%) happened in the energy sector. Being one of the top capital-intensive infrastructures, any disruption to the power grid operation results in significant financial loss and interruptions in electricity supply that adversely affects other critical infrastructures including hospitals, transportation, and financial systems. One of the main challenges in designing security solutions is the lack of proper testing environment and tools for Smart Grids. This project aims to develop a robust and affordable cyber security testbed for the smart grid environment.

Solution: A Testbed for analysing Cybersecurity attacks on Smart Grid

This project will enable the testing of different aspects of smart grid security including false data injection attack, privacy of smart meter data, and communication-based Denial of Service attack on the power system. The project will develop a proof of concept smart grid security test bed which will help the security researchers and analysts to simulate the behaviour of the existing as well as new types of cyber threats that is otherwise practically impossible to conduct within the real smart grid environment due to operational and security constraints of the physical grid. The key benefits of the testbed include

  • a simulation testbed to generate operational scenarios in a power system
  • allows conducting state-of-the-art data integrity, availability and privacy attacks using the developed simulator.
  • Analysis of the effects of different cyber-attacks on the physical operation of the power grid, e.g., how it changes the power parameters and loads.
  • Allows the testing of various detection and prevention strategies for cyberattacks, e.g., Bad Data detector and communication protocol analysis.

If you would like more information on this project, you can contact Dr. Abdun Mahmood by email email.

Figure 1 Testbed running power system model using OPAL-RT Real-Time Simulator Platform

Figure 2 Modelling of False Data Injection Attack Detection System

Figure 4 Attack Detection from Measurement Data

Figure 3 Attack Generation using ePHASORSIM

Top Tier Publications

Vulnerability and Impact Analysis of the IEC 61850 GOOSE Protocol in Smart Grid (under Review)

J Suaboot, A Fahad, Z Tari, J Grundy, AN Mahmood, A Almalawi, “A Taxonomy of Supervised Learning for IDSs in SCADA Environments”, ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 53 (2), 1-37, 2020.

A Anwar, A Mahmood, B Ray, MA Mahmud, Z Tari, “Machine Learning to Ensure Data Integrity in Power System Topological Network Database”, Electronics 9 (4), 693, 2020

HT Reda, A Mahmood, A Diro, N Chilamkurti, S Kallam, “Firefly-inspired stochastic resonance for spectrum sensing in CR-based IoT communications”, Neural Computing and Applications, 1-13, 2019.

Research Team Contact Details

Mahmood Abdun2020-09-30T16:15:38+10:00
  • Mahmood Abdun

  • Associate Professor, La Trobe University

  • Read more on Mahmood at his professional profile.

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