N-1 Reliability Makes It Difficult for False Data Injection Attacks to Cause Physical Consequences

Zhigang Chu, Jiazi Zhang, Oliver Kosut, Lalitha Sankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that false data injection (FDI) attacks are extremely limited in their ability to cause physical consequences on N-1 reliable power systems operating with real-time contingency analysis (RTCA) and security constrained economic dispatch (SCED). Prior work has shown that FDI attacks can be designed via an attacker-defender bi-level linear program (ADBLP) to cause physical overflows after re-dispatch using DCOPF. In this paper, it is shown that attacks designed using DCOPF fail to cause overflows on N-1 reliable systems because the system response modeled is inaccurate. An ADBLP that accurately models the system response is proposed to find the worst-case physical consequences, thereby modeling a strong attacker with system level knowledge. Simulation results on the synthetic Texas system with 2000 buses show that even with the new enhanced attacks, for systems operated conservatively due to N-1 constraints, the designed attacks only lead to post-contingency overflows. Moreover, the attacker must control a large portion of measurements and physically create a contingency in the system to cause consequences. Therefore, it is conceivable but requires an extremely sophisticated attacker to cause physical consequences on N-1 reliable power systems operated with RTCA and SCED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Biological system modeling
  • Data models
  • Energy management
  • False data injection attack
  • Power measurement
  • Power system reliability
  • Power systems
  • Voltage measurement
  • bi-level optimization
  • cyber-security
  • vulnerability of N-1 reliable power systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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