Event under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy of Slovak Republic

Fault Tree cyber-security analysis of EPS State Estimation software

Anatolijs Mahnitko
Riga Technical University, Professor

Irina Kolosok
Researcher, Melentiev Energy Systems Institute, Irkutsk, Russia

Elena Korkina
Researcher, Melentiev Energy Systems Institute, Irkutsk, Russia

     Last modified: 2017-06-19

Modern energy systems demand the development of approaches to the comprehensive investigation of security of integrated technological and information-communication subsystems. There are many vulnerability points in those subsystems: from failures of their components to unexpected disturbances. Besides, numerous malicious attacks on hardware and software may lead to large-scale outages. Therefore, a top priority task when operating the Smart Grid (SG) is the capability of the technological and information-communication subsystems to defend themselves from failures, disturbances and malicious attacks.
One of the IES subsystems is responsible for solving the problems of SG control in the current operating conditions. This subsystem includes both the technical means for the data acquisition and processing (SCADA and WAMS), and the software for the calculation of current operating conditions (state estimation) based on the obtained information. SCADA and WAMS are the most vulnerable to the physical failures and information attacks, and dangerous in terms of their consequences.
The state estimation (SE) task provides a correct solution only if the measurements do not contain gross errors or bad data, which can be caused by errors in measurements, failures of the information-communication subsystem, cyber attacks on the SCADA and WAMS system and SE software. In the case where a large number of recorders are attacked, the number of erroneous measurements can lead to the situation that the computation process of SE will not converge. WAMS, which is based on the sophisticated computer and communication equipment, itself is an object of cyber-attacks that lead to falsification, loss, delay and desynchronization of PMU measurements and other negative effects which in the end results in the deterioration of SE results.
The paper considers the issues related to the problem of resistance of the SE procedure to cyberattacks on the WAMS and the SE software itself.
Based on the analysis of potential cyberattacks, which reveals the most vulnerable WAMS components, we show the conditions for a failure of the SE procedure. We use a technique of Fault Tree Analysis as a mean of investigating the cyber-security of the SE software itself in order to understand how the SE software resists to malicious activity, to analyze the reasons for the corruption of initial data, to confirm the fact of cyber-attack on the WAMS facilities. generating the subsequent recommendations helps the SE users to exclude those reasons.


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