Published May 21, 2018 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Reducing Vulnerability to Cyber-physical Attacks in Water Distribution Networks


Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), such as Water Distribution Networks (WDNs), deploy digital devices to monitor and control the behavior of physical processes. These digital devices, however, are susceptible to cyber and physical attacks, that may alter their functionality, and therefore the integrity of their measurements/actions. In practice, industrial control systems utilize simple control laws, which rely on various sensor measurements and algorithms which are expected to operate normally. To reduce the impact of a potential failure, operators may deploy redundant components; this however may not be useful, e.g., when a cyber attack at a PLC component occurs. In this work, we address the problem of reducing vulnerability to cyber-physical attacks in water distribution networks. This is achieved by augmenting the graph which describes the information flow from sensors to actuators, by adding new connections and algorithms, to increase the number of redundant cyber components. These, in turn, increase the cyber-physical security level, which is defined in the present paper as the number of malicious attacks a CPS may sustain before becoming unable to satisfy the control requirements. A proof-of-concept of the approach is demonstrated over a simple WDN, with intuition on how this can be used to increase the cyber-physical security level of the system.


This research is partially funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement no. 739551 (KIOS CoE), and by the Interreg V-A Greece-Cyprus 2014-2020 programme, co-financed by the European Union (ERDF) and National Funds of Greece and Cyprus, under the project SmartWater2020.



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KIOS CoE – KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence 739551
European Commission