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Distributed Internet-Based Load Altering Attacks Against Smart Power Grids

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2 Author(s)
Amir-Hamed Mohsenian-Rad ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA ; Alberto Leon-Garcia

With the increase in use of information technology in advanced demand side management and given the growth in power consumption in the computation and communications sectors, a new class of cyberintrusion plans is emerging that aims to alter the load through the Internet and by means of automatic and distributed software intruding agents. These attacks work by compromising direct load control command signals, demand side management price signals, or cloud computation load distribution algorithms to affect the load at the most crucial locations in the grid in order to cause circuit overflow or other malfunctions and damage the power system equipment. To gain insights into these less-examined yet important intrusion strategies, in this paper, we identify a variety of practical loads that can be volnurable to Internet-based load altering attacks. In addition, we overview a collection of defense mechanisms that can help in blocking these attacks or minimizing the damage caused by them. Our simulation results based on the standard setting in the IEEE 24-bus Reliability Test System show that our proposed cost-efficent load protection strategy can significantly reduce the cost of load protection while it guarantees that no Internet-based load altering attack may overload the power distribution system.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )