Power systems are complex systems that have great importance to socio-economic development due to the fact that the entire world relies on the electric network power supply for day-to-day life. Therefore, for the stable operation of power systems, several protection and control techniques are necessary. The power system controllers should have the ability to maintain power system stability. Three important quantities that should be effectively controlled to maintain the stability of power systems are frequency, rotor angle, and voltage. The voltage control in power systems maintains the voltage and reactive power within the required limits and the power factor control enhances the efficiency of power distribution systems by improving load power factors. Among various controls, the frequency control is the most time-consuming control mechanism of power systems due to the involvement of mechanical parts. As the control algorithms of frequency stabilization deliver control signals in the timescale of seconds, load frequency control (LFC) systems cannot handle complicated data validation algorithms, making them more vulnerable to disturbances and cyber-attacks. In addition, the LFC system has extended digital layers with open communication networks and is designed to operate with less human intervention. Moreover, the frequency fluctuation due to load change or cyber-attack in one area affects all other interconnected areas, and thus threatens the stability of the entire network. Due to these circumstances, research activities are still carried out in the field of frequency control and cyber-security. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the cyber-security of the LFC mechanism in the power system is presented. The highlights of the paper include the identification of attack points of different configurations of the LFC system, discussion of the attack strategies, formulation of various attack models, and a brief review of the existing detection and defense mechanisms against cyber-attacks on LFC.
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