Our daily life is becoming more and more reliant on services provided by the infrastructures
power, gas , communication networks. Ensuring the security of these
infrastructures is of utmost importance. This task becomes ever more challenging as
the inter-dependence among these infrastructures grows and a security breach in one
infrastructure can spill over to the others. The implication is that the security practices/
analysis recommended for these infrastructures should be done in coordination.
This thesis, focusing on the power grid, explores strategies to secure the system that
look into the coupling of the power grid to the cyber infrastructure, used to manage
and control it, and to the gas grid, that supplies an increasing amount of reserves to
The first part (Part I) of the thesis, including chapters 2 through 4, focuses on
the coupling of the power and the cyber infrastructure that is used for its control and
operations. The goal is to detect malicious attacks gaining information about the
operation of the power grid to later attack the system. In chapter 2, we propose a
hierarchical architecture that correlates the analysis of high resolution Micro-Phasor
Measurement Unit (microPMU) data and traffic analysis on the Supervisory Control
and Data Acquisition (SCADA) packets, to infer the security status of the grid and
detect the presence of possible intruders. An essential part of this architecture is
tied to the analysis on the microPMU data. In chapter 3 we establish a set of anomaly
detection rules on microPMU data that
flag "abnormal behavior". A placement strategy
of microPMU sensors is also proposed to maximize the sensitivity in detecting anomalies.
In chapter 4, we focus on developing rules that can localize the source of an events
using microPMU to further check whether a cyber attack is causing the anomaly, by
correlating SCADA traffic with the microPMU data analysis results. The thread that
unies the data analysis in this chapter is the fact that decision are made without fully estimating the state of the system; on the contrary, decisions are made using
a set of physical measurements that falls short by orders of magnitude to meet the
needs for observability. More specifically, in the first part of this chapter (sections 4.1-
4.2), using microPMU data in the substation, methodologies for online identification of
the source Thevenin parameters are presented. This methodology is used to identify
reconnaissance activity on the normally-open switches in the substation, initiated
by attackers to gauge its controllability over the cyber network. The applications
of this methodology in monitoring the voltage stability of the grid is also discussed.
In the second part of this chapter (sections 4.3-4.5), we investigate the localization
of faults. Since the number of PMU sensors available to carry out the inference
is insufficient to ensure observability, the problem can be viewed as that of under-sampling
a "graph signal"; the analysis leads to a PMU placement strategy that can
achieve the highest resolution in localizing the fault, for a given number of sensors.
In both cases, the results of the analysis are leveraged in the detection of cyber-physical
attacks, where microPMU data and relevant SCADA network traffic information
are compared to determine if a network breach has affected the integrity of the system
information and/or operations.
In second part of this thesis (Part II), the security analysis considers the adequacy
and reliability of schedules for the gas and power network. The motivation for
scheduling jointly supply in gas and power networks is motivated by the increasing
reliance of power grids on natural gas generators (and, indirectly, on gas pipelines)
as providing critical reserves. Chapter 5 focuses on unveiling the challenges and
providing solution to this problem.