Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices

Charalambos Konstantinou, Mihalis Maniatakos

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    The coupling between cyber and physical components makes cyber-security an area of growing interest in the power industry. Sensing, communications, and intelligent control technologies are being integrated with field devices, changing the traditional structure of power systems and transforming power infrastructure into a more interactive, dynamic and controllable system. As a result, the developed smart grid environment increases the chances of being maliciously attacked. Monitoring and control decision equipment such as microprocessor-based protection relays, offer an ideal exploitation candidate for attackers. This paper presents how an adversary is able to disrupt the operation of Circuit Breakers (CBs) by injecting malicious tripping commands to the relay controller. We formulate an attack strategy by reverse engineering the firmware of an existing commercial protection relay. The impact of the developed attacks is studied on the IEEE 14 bus test case system.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
    Pages283-288
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9781467382892
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 17 2016
    EventIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015 - Miami, United States
    Duration: Nov 1 2015Nov 5 2015

    Other

    OtherIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015
    CountryUnited States
    CityMiami
    Period11/1/1511/5/15

    Fingerprint

    Relay protection
    Firmware
    Reverse engineering
    Intelligent control
    Electric circuit breakers
    Microprocessor chips
    Controllers
    Monitoring
    Communication
    Industry

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Computer Networks and Communications

    Cite this

    Konstantinou, C., & Maniatakos, M. (2016). Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015 (pp. 283-288). [7436314] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436314

    Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices. / Konstantinou, Charalambos; Maniatakos, Mihalis.

    2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. p. 283-288 7436314.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Konstantinou, C & Maniatakos, M 2016, Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices. in 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015., 7436314, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., pp. 283-288, IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015, Miami, United States, 11/1/15. https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436314
    Konstantinou C, Maniatakos M. Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. 2016. p. 283-288. 7436314 https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436314
    Konstantinou, Charalambos ; Maniatakos, Mihalis. / Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices. 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. pp. 283-288
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