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Conference paper Open Access

Defense against cyber-attacks on the Hydro Power Plant connected in parallel with Energy System

Valeri Mladenov; Veselin Chobanov; Panagiotis Sarigiannidis; Panagiotis I. Radoglou-Grammatikis; Anton Hristov; Pencho Zlatev

In today’s modern energy sector, driven more and more towards decentralization, which includes many smaller energy producers rather than huge government projects, security against cyber-attacks is becoming more crucial for the energy grid. Since many small energy plants do not have the resources to finance very expensive existing cyber-security systems, they often have no security system in place at all. Although with small energy producers, the risks of being under attack are not as devastating as in a huge power plants, they still pose a serious threat to the energy system and to the supply of electricity to whole regions. Moreover, in the era of technology, such cyber-attacks could be carried out simultaneously at many locations, thus risking the lack of electricity to larger areas. Since there was a clearly identified need for such an instrument, the SPEAR consortium, started to develop tailor made solution for different types of actors in the energy sector, to prevent such occurrences and help secure the energy system. One of the use cases, investigated in the project, is a real operating hydro power plant in the mountain area of Bulgaria called Leshnitsa, which will be one of the four sites to first test the functionality of the finished product. The plant had no previous cyber-security system in place and had already experienced one attack, where one of the computers in the plant was hacked and a ransom was demanded from the attackers to unlock it. Exactly events like this one are proof, that the energy sector has a need to protect the growing number of small independent actors in the energy system..

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