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Replacing specialized industrial networks with the Internet is a growing trend in industrial informatics, where packets are used to transmit feedback and control signals between a plant and a controller. Today, denial of service (DoS) attacks cause significant disruptions to the Internet, which will threaten the operation of network-based control systems (NBCS). In this paper, we propose two queueing models to simulate the stochastic process of packet delay jitter and loss under DoS attacks. The motivation is to quantitatively investigate how these attacks degrade the performance of NBCS. The example control system consists of a proportional integral controller, a second-order plant, and two one-way delay vectors induced by attacks. The simulation results indicate that Model I attack (local network DoS attack) impairs the performance because a large number of NBCS packets are lost. Model II attack (nonlocal network DoS attack) deteriorates the performance or even destabilizes the system. In this case, the traffic for NBCS exhibits strong autocorrelation of delay jitter and packet loss. Mitigating measures based on packet filtering are discussed and shown to be capable of ameliorating the performance degradation.
Date of Publication: May 2005