Security of Smart Distribution Grids: Data Integrity Attacks on Integrated Volt/VAR Control and Countermeasures

Teixeira, A., Dan, G., Sandberg, H., Berthier, R., Bobba, R., Valdes, A.

2014 American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 4372, 4378, 4-6, June 2014.

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We examine the feasibility of an attack on the measurements that will be used by integrated volt-var control (VVC) in future smart power distribution systems. The analysis is performed under a variety of assumptions of adversary capability regarding knowledge of details of the VVC algorithm used, system topology, access to actual measurements, and ability to corrupt measurements. The adversary also faces an optimization problem, which is to maximize adverse impact while remaining stealthy. This is achieved by first identifying sets of measurements that can be jointly but stealthily corrupted. Then, the maximal impact of such data corruption is computed for the case where the operator is unaware of the attack and  directly applies the configuration from the integrated VVC. Furthermore, since the attacker is constrained to remaining stealthy, we consider a game-theoretic framework where the operator chooses settings to maximize observability and constrain the adversary action space.

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