A Response Taxonomy and Cost Model for Advanced Metering Infrastructures

Fawaz, M.

Master's Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2013.

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The smart grid is creating the potential for security vulnerabilities due to the deployment of networked devices into the traditional grid. A core component of the smart grid is its advanced metering infrastructures (AMIs), in which a utility communicates and controls smart meters at customer sites. The fine-grained control offered by AMIs increases the risk of cyber-attacks. It is critical to develop cost-sensitive automated response and recovery strategies, because manual management of security incidents in such a large and complex system is impractical. This thesis addresses the challenge of enabling automatic responses to cyber-attacks through two main contributions. First, we introduce and classify an ex- tended set of AMI-specific cyber-incident response actions. Second, we define a cost model for response actions. A cost model is an approach for translating security properties into monetary costs. The cost model is a key element in enabling an automated response en- gine to make optimal decisions and mitigate cyber incidents. Since AMIs are cyber-physical systems, the cost model accounts for costs due to both the cyber system and the physi- cal system. In particular, the cost model estimates the effects of cyber-responses on the cyber-system and computes the cost due to the loss of cyberservices. The cost model then estimates the consequences of cyber-responses for the distribution grid. The costs incurred within the distribution grid are due to outages, disruptions of the electricity market, and violations of contractual agreements among stakeholders. Finally, we present a realistic im- plementation of the cost model using ArcGIS for topology generation and GridLAB-D for grid simulation.

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