Secure Control of Cyber-Physical Systems

Presented By:
Dr. Bruno Sinopoli, Carnegie Mellon University
Date and Location:
Friday, April 1, 2011 - 1:00pm
NCSA Auditorium | Webcast
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Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) refer to the embedding of widespread sensing, computation, communication, and control into physical spaces. Application areas are as diverse as aerospace, chemical processes, civil infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and transportation, most of which are safety-critical. The availability of cheap communication technologies such as the internet makes such infrastructures susceptible to cyber security threats, which may affect national security as some of them, such as the power grid, are vital to the normal operation of our society. Any successful attack may significantly hamper the economy, the environment or may even lead to loss of human life. As a result, security is of primary importance to guarantee safe operation of CPS. In this work, we study the effects of false data injection attacks on control systems. We assume that the control system is monitoring and controlling a linear time-invariant system. The attacker's goal is to destabilize the system by compromising a subset of sensors and sending altered readings to the state estimator. The attacker also wants to guarantee that its action can occur undetected. Under these assumptions, we will give a necessary and sufficient condition under which the attacker could destabilize the system without being detected. We will provide several illustrative examples.


Bruno Sinopoli received the Dr. Eng. degree from the University of Padova in 1998 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, in 2003 and 2005 respectively. After a postdoctoral position at Stanford University, Dr. Sinopoli joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and in the Robotics Institute. Dr. Sinopoli was awarded the 2006 Eli Jury Award for outstanding research achievement in the areas of systems, communications, control and signal processing at U.C. Berkeley and the NSF Career award in 2010. His research interests include networked embedded control systems, distributed estimation and control with applications to wireless sensor-actuator networks and system security.

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About the TCIPG Seminar Series:

The seminar series is presented by the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Project, an $18 million multi-university research effort whose partner institutions include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, Dartmouth, and Washington State University. The TCIPG Project, a successor to the earlier NSF-funded TCIP Center, was founded in 2009 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is housed in the Information Trust Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.