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The operations of a smart grid heavily rely on the support of communication infrastructures for efficient electricity management and reliable power distribution. Due to the strong dependency, the robustness of a smart grid communication network against attack is of the utmost importance for the deployment of the smart grid. Notably, the large scale and autonomous features of a smart grid render its cyber security quite vulnerable to adversaries. In this article, we introduce several intelligent attacks and countermeasures in smart grid communication networks, which aim for maximal damage or benefits by taking advantage of the network structure as well as the protocol functionality. We adopt the percolation-based connectivity in statistic mechanics to quantitatively analyze the network robustness. If the attack and defense strategies are involved, the attack can be further smart and complicated. Consequently, a twoplayer zero-sum game is introduced between the adversary and the defender, and the outcome of the game equilibrium is used to evaluate the performance of defense mechanisms with different network configurations. This article therefore offers novel insights and comprehensive analysis on the cyber security of a smart grid.
Date of Publication: August 2012