Skip to Main Content
Coordinated cyberattacks of power meter readings can be arranged to be undetectable by any bad data detection algorithm in the power system state estimation process. These unobservable attacks present a potentially serious threat to grid operations. Of particular interest are sparse attacks that involve the compromise of a modest number of meter readings. An efficient algorithm to find all unobservable attacks [under standard DC load flow approximations] involving the compromise of exactly two power injection meters and an arbitrary number of line power meters is presented. This requires O(n2m) flops for a power system with n buses and m line meters. If all lines are metered, there exist canonical forms that characterize all 3, 4, and 5-sparse unobservable attacks. These can be quickly detected in power systems using standard graph algorithms. Known-secure phasor measurement units [PMUs] can be used as countermeasures against an arbitrary collection of cyberattacks. Finding the minimum number of necessary PMUs is NP-hard. It is shown that p + 1 PMUs at carefully chosen buses are sufficient to neutralize a collection of p cyberattacks.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Oct. 2011