Effects of cyber attacks on ac and high-voltage DC interconnected power systems with emulated inertia

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The high penetration of renewable energy resources and power electronic-based components has led to a low-inertia power grid which would bring challenges to system operations. The new model of load frequency control (LFC) must be able to handle the modern scenario where controlled areas are interconnected by parallel AC/HVDC links and storage devices are added to provide virtual inertia. Notably, vulnerabilities within the communication channels for wide-area data exchange in LFC loops may make them exposed to various cyber attacks, while it still remains largely unexplored how the new LFC in the AC/HVDC interconnected system with emulated inertia would be affected under malicious intrusions. Thus, in this article, we are motivated to explore possible effects of the major types of data availability and integrity attacks—Denial of Service (DoS) and false data injection (FDI) attacks—on such a new LFC system. By using a system-theoretic approach, we explore the optimal strategies that attackers can exploit to launch DoS or FDI attacks to corrupt the system stability. Besides, a comparison study is performed to learn the impact of these two types of attacks on LFC models of power systems with or without HVDC link and emulated inertia. The simulation results on the the exemplary two-area system illustrate that both DoS and FDI attacks can cause large frequency deviations or even make the system unstable; moreover, the LFC system with AC/HVDC interconnections and emulated inertia could be more vulnerable to these two types of attacks in many adversarial scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5583
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • AC/HVDC interconnections
  • Attack impact
  • Denial of Service
  • False data injection
  • Load frequency control
  • Virtual inertia


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