Special Issue "Cyber-Physical Systems"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Computer Science & Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Wei Gao

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wireless networking; mobile computing; cyber-physical systems
Guest Editor
Dr. Qinghua Li

Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cybersecurity; privacy-aware computing; mobile computing and networking; smart grid; cyber-physical systems; big data, and cloud computing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are engineered systems that enable seamless integration of the computation and physical objects in our daily lives, and have the potential to fundamentally transform the way people interact with the physical world. In recent years, the fast development of CPS has driven significant innovations in a large range of application domains ranging from smart manufacturing, smart home and communities, autonomous driving, smart and personalized healthcare, building design, architecture, etc. Advances in CPS will also enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability that will expand the horizons of these critical systems.

This Special Issue aims to cover the most recent technical advances in all CPS aspects, including theory, tools, applications, systems, test-beds and field deployments. Both theoretical derivations or practical development of CPS systems and testbeds are welcomed. Reviews and surveys of the state-of-the-art in CPS systems are also welcomed. Topics of interest to this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • CPS system architecture
  • Control optimization of CPS
  • Machine learning for CPS
  • Data mining and analytics
  • Game theory applied to CPS applications
  • Model-based design and verification of CPS
  • Mobile and cloud computing for CPS
  • Wired and wireless networking for CPS problems
  • Signal processing and fusion for CPS
  • Human-in-the-loop shared or supervisory control of CPS
  • Practical application-oriented system design for CPS
  • Security and privacy for CPS

Dr. Wei Gao
Dr. Qinghua Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Co-Regulated Consensus of Cyber-Physical Resources in Multi-Agent Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050569
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Intelligent utilization of resources and improved mission performance in an autonomous agent require consideration of cyber and physical resources. The allocation of these resources becomes more complex when the system expands from one agent to multiple agents, and the control shifts from centralized [...] Read more.
Intelligent utilization of resources and improved mission performance in an autonomous agent require consideration of cyber and physical resources. The allocation of these resources becomes more complex when the system expands from one agent to multiple agents, and the control shifts from centralized to decentralized. Consensus is a distributed algorithm that lets multiple agents agree on a shared value, but typically does not leverage mobility. We propose a coupled consensus control strategy that co-regulates computation, communication frequency, and connectivity of the agents to achieve faster convergence times at lower communication rates and computational costs. In this strategy, agents move towards a common location to increase connectivity. Simultaneously, the communication frequency is increased when the shared state error between an agent and its connected neighbors is high. When the shared state converges (i.e., consensus is reached), the agents withdraw to the initial positions and the communication frequency is decreased. Convergence properties of our algorithm are demonstrated under the proposed co-regulated control algorithm. We evaluated the proposed approach through a new set of cyber-physical, multi-agent metrics and demonstrated our approach in a simulation of unmanned aircraft systems measuring temperatures at multiple sites. The results demonstrate that, compared with fixed-rate and event-triggered consensus algorithms, our co-regulation scheme can achieve improved performance with fewer resources, while maintaining high reactivity to changes in the environment and system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Resource Exhaustion Attacks against Wireless Mobile Devices
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050500
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
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Abstract
Currently, energy resource exhaustion attacks targeted on modern autonomously working mobile devices are becoming more and more important. The underdevelopment of specialized defenses against energy exhaustion attacks as well as their often hidden nature for the owner of the target device determine a [...] Read more.
Currently, energy resource exhaustion attacks targeted on modern autonomously working mobile devices are becoming more and more important. The underdevelopment of specialized defenses against energy exhaustion attacks as well as their often hidden nature for the owner of the target device determine a necessity of an integrated approach to modeling and evaluation of this class of attacks and various types of intruders. The paper analyzes conditions of applicability of energy resource exhaustion attacks performed by various classes of intruders, models them on physical implementations of devices for two application areas, and calculates their performance indicators. Application areas are a TCP/IP network of end-user mobile devices and a self-organizing mesh network designed for operational management and emergency response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Forecasting Heating Consumption in Buildings: A Scalable Full-Stack Distributed Engine
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050491
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Predicting power demand of building heating systems is a challenging task due to the high variability of their energy profiles. Power demand is characterized by different heating cycles including sequences of various transient and steady-state phases. To effectively perform the predictive task by [...] Read more.
Predicting power demand of building heating systems is a challenging task due to the high variability of their energy profiles. Power demand is characterized by different heating cycles including sequences of various transient and steady-state phases. To effectively perform the predictive task by exploiting the huge amount of fine-grained energy-related data collected through Internet of Things (IoT) devices, innovative and scalable solutions should be devised. This paper presents PHi-CiB, a scalable full-stack distributed engine, addressing all tasks from energy-related data collection, to their integration, storage, analysis, and modeling. Heterogeneous data measurements (e.g., power consumption in buildings, meteorological conditions) are collected through multiple hardware (e.g., IoT devices) and software (e.g., web services) entities. Such data are integrated and analyzed to predict the average power demand of each building for different time horizons. First, the transient and steady-state phases characterizing the heating cycle of each building are automatically identified; then the power-level forecasting is performed for each phase. To this aim, PHi-CiB relies on a pipeline of three algorithms: the Exponentially Weighted Moving Average, the Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline, and the Linear Regression with Stochastic Gradient Descent. PHi-CiB’s current implementation exploits Apache Spark and MongoDB and supports parallel and scalable processing and analytical tasks. Experimental results, performed on energy-related data collected in a real-world system show the effectiveness of PHi-CiB in predicting heating power consumption of buildings with a limited prediction error and an optimal horizontal scalability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Protecting Private Communications in Cyber-Physical Systems through Physical Unclonable Functions
Electronics 2019, 8(4), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8040390
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 24 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are envisioned to change the whole of society. New engineered systems joining physical and digital solutions are being employed in industry, education, etc. These new systems are networked by default, and private information is shared among the different components related [...] Read more.
Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are envisioned to change the whole of society. New engineered systems joining physical and digital solutions are being employed in industry, education, etc. These new systems are networked by default, and private information is shared among the different components related to users, critical infrastructures, or business operations. In this context, it is essential to encrypt those communication links to protect such information. However, even most complicated schemes based on hybrid (asymmetric and symmetric) solutions, finally require physical devices to store a secret key. This approach is cryptographically weak, as any person with physical access to the device could obtain that key. Therefore, in this paper we propose the use of physical unclonable functions (PUF) to generate secret keys for lightweight encryption schemes. Using PUFs, any attempt to capture the key is changing the original secret stream, and even manufacturers are not able to build two identical PUFs. The proposed key generator is based on magnetic materials and lightweight pseudorandom number generators to meet the low-cost and small size requirements of CPS. In particular, materials with an activated exchange-bias effect are employed, together with simple copper coils. The encryption process can be based on a simple XOR gate because of the robustness of the proposed key generator. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed technology, an experimental validation based on simulation scenarios is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Behavior Analysis and Anomaly Detection for a Digital Substation on Cyber-Physical System
Electronics 2019, 8(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8030326
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
The electric power system infrastructure has begun to adopt digital information technologies such as transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) and Ethernet infrastructures. With this adoption, information technology-centric network and system management (NSM) tools are used to manage the intermediate communication systems and electric [...] Read more.
The electric power system infrastructure has begun to adopt digital information technologies such as transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) and Ethernet infrastructures. With this adoption, information technology-centric network and system management (NSM) tools are used to manage the intermediate communication systems and electric devices in digital substations. However, the technology to monitor the cyber–physical System (CPS) statistics for the intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and serial communication for a digital substation does not exist yet. In this paper, we aim to propose cyber-physical analysis methodologies of a digital substation system, concerning issues of (1) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62351-7 based network and system management, (2) behavior analysis of the CPS, (3) cyber–physical anomaly detection systems, and (4) a testbed for a digital substation. By collaborating with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a cyber security testbed for the digital substation has been developed to implement the use cases and analyze potential security threats. Newly integrated methodologies for information handling are expected to lead to improved safety and reliability for the CPS of electric power grid systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Sensitivity of Algorithms for Assessing the Harmful Information Indicators in the Interests of Cyber-Physical Security
Electronics 2019, 8(3), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8030284
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
The secure functioning of cyber-physical systems depends on the presence and amount of harmful (unwanted and malicious) information in its digital network content. The functioning of cyber-physical systems is carried out in non-stationary conditions and in conditions of continuous exposures. This leads to [...] Read more.
The secure functioning of cyber-physical systems depends on the presence and amount of harmful (unwanted and malicious) information in its digital network content. The functioning of cyber-physical systems is carried out in non-stationary conditions and in conditions of continuous exposures. This leads to the uncertainty of indicators (parameters, features) of harmful information that must be assessed in the analytical processing of digital network content. The paper proposes an approach to analyse the sensitivity of algorithms for estimating the status of indicators of harmful information observed in noise. This approach allows one to consider possible errors in the estimation accuracy. It gives the possibility to identify the allowable range of changes in the parameters of the digital network content of cyber-physical systems, within which the requirements for the assessment reliability are met. This, in turn, makes a significant contribution to the effectiveness of harmful information detection and counteraction against it. Accounting for a priori uncertainty of the indicators under various influences is advisable to carry out on the basis of expressions for the sensitivity coefficients (functions) described in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Cyber-Physical System Framework for Measurement and Analysis of Physical Activities
Electronics 2019, 8(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8020248
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Several recent studies in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) focus on monitoring human movement and capturing data for further processing and analysis. However, there is a lack of studies that address the configurability and modularity of these systems, which is important for designing customized systems [...] Read more.
Several recent studies in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) focus on monitoring human movement and capturing data for further processing and analysis. However, there is a lack of studies that address the configurability and modularity of these systems, which is important for designing customized systems with customized devices. We propose a solution to solve this through a modular framework that automatically recognizes and configures new devices and provides real-time data wirelessly. The proposed framework creates a Digital Twin of the physical device and mirrors its attributes and sensory information into the cyber world so they can be used in real-time and post-routine analysis. As a proof of concept, a configurable CPS model for physical activities monitoring is designed and implemented. The designed gait monitoring and analysis system delivers spatiotemporal data from multiple multi-sensory devices to a central data handling and backup cloud server over conventional IEEE802.11 Wi-Fi. An experiment involving a young athlete examined whether or not the CPS components would recognize each other over foreign networks and communicate accurate information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Safety Analysis of AADL Models for Grid Cyber-Physical Systems via Model Checking of Stochastic Games
Electronics 2019, 8(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8020212
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
As safety-critical systems, grid cyber-physical systems (GCPSs) are required to ensure the safety of power-related systems. However, in many cases, GCPSs may be subject to uncertain and nondeterministic environmental hazards, as well as the variable quality of devices. They can cause failures and [...] Read more.
As safety-critical systems, grid cyber-physical systems (GCPSs) are required to ensure the safety of power-related systems. However, in many cases, GCPSs may be subject to uncertain and nondeterministic environmental hazards, as well as the variable quality of devices. They can cause failures and hazards in the whole system and may jeopardize system safety. Thus, it necessitates safety analysis for system safety assurance. This paper proposes an architecture-level safety analysis approach for GCPSs applying the probabilistic model-checking of stochastic games. GCPSs are modeled using Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL). Random errors and failures of a GCPS and nondeterministic environment behaviors are explicitly described with AADL annexes. A GCPS AADL model including the environment can be regarded as a game. To transform AADL models to stochastic multi-player games (SMGs) models, model transformation rules are proposed and the completeness and consistency of rules are proved. Property formulae are formulated for formal verification of GCPS SMG models, so that occurrence probabilities of failed states and hazards can be obtained for system-level safety analysis. Finally, a modified IEEE 9-bus system with grid elements that are power management systems is modeled and analyzed using the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sign Language Representation by TEO Humanoid Robot: End-User Interest, Comprehension and Satisfaction
Electronics 2019, 8(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8010057
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we illustrate our work on improving the accessibility of Cyber–Physical Systems (CPS), presenting a study on human–robot interaction where the end-users are either deaf or hearing-impaired people. Current trends in robotic designs include devices with robotic arms and hands capable [...] Read more.
In this paper, we illustrate our work on improving the accessibility of Cyber–Physical Systems (CPS), presenting a study on human–robot interaction where the end-users are either deaf or hearing-impaired people. Current trends in robotic designs include devices with robotic arms and hands capable of performing manipulation and grasping tasks. This paper focuses on how these devices can be used for a different purpose, which is that of enabling robotic communication via sign language. For the study, several tests and questionnaires are run to check and measure how end-users feel about interpreting sign language represented by a humanoid robotic assistant as opposed to subtitles on a screen. Stemming from this dichotomy, dactylology, basic vocabulary representation and end-user satisfaction are the main topics covered by a delivered form, in which additional commentaries are valued and taken into consideration for further decision taking regarding robot-human interaction. The experiments were performed using TEO, a household companion humanoid robot developed at the University Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), via representations in Spanish Sign Language (LSE), and a total of 16 deaf and hearing-impaired participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Port Current Source Inverter for Smart Microgrid Applications: A Cyber Physical Paradigm
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4975 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a configuration of dual output single-phase current source inverter with six-switches for microgrid applications. The inverter is capable of delivering power to two independent set of loads of equal voltages or different voltages at the load end. The control strategy [...] Read more.
This paper presents a configuration of dual output single-phase current source inverter with six-switches for microgrid applications. The inverter is capable of delivering power to two independent set of loads of equal voltages or different voltages at the load end. The control strategy is based on integral sliding mode control (ISMC). The cyber twin model-based test bench is developed to analyze the performance of the inverter. The cyber twin is a virtual model of the physical system to simulate behaviours. The performance of the inverter is analyzed with a cyber twin model and monitored through the remote system. Also, the inverter is analyzed with different voltage conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Biometric Authentication and Verification for Medical Cyber Physical Systems
Electronics 2018, 7(12), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7120436
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
A Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) is a network of wirelessly connected sensing and actuating devices. WBANs used for recording biometric information and administering medication are classified as part of a Cyber Physical System (CPS). Preserving user security and privacy is a fundamental [...] Read more.
A Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) is a network of wirelessly connected sensing and actuating devices. WBANs used for recording biometric information and administering medication are classified as part of a Cyber Physical System (CPS). Preserving user security and privacy is a fundamental concern of WBANs, which introduces the notion of using biometric readings as a mechanism for authentication. Extensive research has been conducted regarding the various methodologies (e.g., ECG, EEG, gait, head/arm motion, skin impedance). This paper seeks to analyze and evaluate the most prominent biometric authentication techniques based on accuracy, cost, and feasibility of implementation. We suggest several authentication schemes which incorporate multiple biometric properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Comprehensive Analysis of Smart Grid Systems against Cyber-Physical Attacks
Electronics 2018, 7(10), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7100249
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of smart grid security against cyber-physical attacks on its distinct functional components. We discuss: (1) a function-based methodology to evaluate smart grid resilience against cyber-physical attacks; (2) a Bayesian Attack Graph for Smart Grid (BAGS) [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of smart grid security against cyber-physical attacks on its distinct functional components. We discuss: (1) a function-based methodology to evaluate smart grid resilience against cyber-physical attacks; (2) a Bayesian Attack Graph for Smart Grid (BAGS) tool to compute the likelihood of the compromise of cyber components of the smart grid system; (3) risk analysis methodology, which combines the results of the function-based methodology and BAGS to quantify risk for each cyber component of the smart grid; and (4) efficient resource allocation in the smart grid cyber domain using reinforcement learning (extension of BAGS tool) to compute optimal policies about whether to perform vulnerability assessment or patch a cyber system of the smart grid whose vulnerability has already been discovered. The results and analysis of these approaches help power engineers to identify failures in advance from one system component to another, develop robust and more resilient power systems and improve situational awareness and the response of the system to cyber-physical attacks. This work sheds light on the interdependency between the cyber domain and power grid and demonstrates that the security of both worlds requires the utmost attention. We hope this work assists power engineers to protect the grid against future cyber-physical attacks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Robustness of Cyber-Physical Systems against Simultaneous, Sequential and Composite Attack
Electronics 2018, 7(9), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7090196
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, a failure model of Cyber-Physical systems and an attack model are proposed. We divide the attacks into three kinds: simultaneous attack, sequential attack and composite attack. Through numerical simulations, we find that: (1) the sequential attack may bring more damage [...] Read more.
In this paper, a failure model of Cyber-Physical systems and an attack model are proposed. We divide the attacks into three kinds: simultaneous attack, sequential attack and composite attack. Through numerical simulations, we find that: (1) the sequential attack may bring more damage in single physical systems; (2) the coupling process of cyber system and physical systems makes it possible that sequential attack causes more damage than simultaneous attacks when the attackers only attack the cyber system; (3) with some target sets, composite attack leads to more failures than both simultaneous attack and sequential attack. The above results suggest that defenders should take all the three kinds of attacks into account when they select the critical nodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
False Sequential Command Attack of Large-Scale Cyber-Physical Systems
Electronics 2018, 7(9), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7090176
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have demonstrated that false commands can cause severe damage to large-scale cyber-physical systems (CPSs). We focus on a kind of threat called false sequential command attack, with which attackers can generate false sequential commands, resulting in the illegal control of the [...] Read more.
Previous studies have demonstrated that false commands can cause severe damage to large-scale cyber-physical systems (CPSs). We focus on a kind of threat called false sequential command attack, with which attackers can generate false sequential commands, resulting in the illegal control of the physical process. We present a feasible attack model. Attackers delay the disaggregation of former commands by manipulating maliciously sub-controllers. Simultaneously, bad feedback data is injected to defeat the controller to issue latter commands. Thus, false command sequence is executed and the disruption of physical process can be obtained. It is also difficult for the detector to identify such attacks as injecting bad data. We also discuss other possible attack paths and analyze the corresponding disadvantages. Compared with other paths, the proposed model is more feasible and has more difficulties to be detected. A case study is given to validate the feasibility and effectiveness of proposed false sequential command attack model. Finally, we discuss the possible countermeasure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Detectors on Edge Nodes against False Data Injection on Transmission Lines of Smart Grid
Electronics 2018, 7(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7060089
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
False data injection (FDI) attack is a hot topic in large-scale Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs), which can cause bad state estimation of controllers. In this paper, we focus on FDI detection on transmission lines of the smart grid. We propose a novel and effective [...] Read more.
False data injection (FDI) attack is a hot topic in large-scale Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs), which can cause bad state estimation of controllers. In this paper, we focus on FDI detection on transmission lines of the smart grid. We propose a novel and effective detection framework to identify FDI attacks. Different from the previous methods, there are multi-tier detectors which utilize edge nodes such as the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) instead of the central controller to detect attacks. The proposed framework can decrease the transmission time of data to reduce the latency of decisions because many sensory data need not be transmitted to the central controller for detection. We also develop a detection algorithm which utilizes classifiers based on machine learning to identify FDI. The training process is split from every edge node and is placed on the central node. The detectors are lightweight and are properly adopted in our detection framework. Our simulation experiments show that the proposed detection framework can provide better detection results than the existing detection approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Systems)
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