Cyber Attacks on Power System Automation and Protection and Impact Analysis

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Abstract

Power system automation and communication standards are spearheading the power system transition towards a smart grid. IEC 61850 is one such standard, which is widely used for substation automation and protection. It enables real-time communication and data exchange between critical substation automation and protection devices within digital substations. However, IEC 61850 is not cyber secure. In this paper, we demonstrate the dangerous implications of not securing IEC 61850 standard. Cyber attacks may exploit the vulnerabilities of the Sampled Values (SV) and Generic Object-Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE) protocols of IEC 61850. The cyber attacks may be realised by injecting spoofed SV and GOOSE data frames into the substation communication network at the bay level. We demonstrate that such cyber attacks may lead to obstruction or tripping of multiple protective relays. Coordinated cyber attacks against the protection system in digital substations may cause generation and line disconnections, triggering cascading failures in the power grid. This may eventually result in a partial or complete blackout. The attack model, impact on system dynamics and cascading failures are veri ed experimentally through a proposed cyber-physical experimental framework that closely resembles real-world conditions within a digital substation, including Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and protection schemes. It is implemented through Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulations of commercial relays with a Real-Time Digital Simulator (RTDS).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2020 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, ISGT-Europe 2020
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
PublisherIEEE
Pages247-254
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-7100-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-7101-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event10th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, ISGT-Europe 2020 - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Oct 202028 Oct 2020
Conference number: 10
https://ieee-isgt-europe.org/

Publication series

NameIEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe
Volume2020-October

Conference

Conference10th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, ISGT-Europe 2020
Abbreviated titleISGT-Europe 2020
CountryNetherlands
Period26/10/2028/10/20
OtherVirtual/online event due to COVID-19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Blackout
  • Cascading failures
  • Cyber attacks
  • Cyber security
  • IEC 61850
  • Power system protection

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