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Security Allocation in Networked Control Systems under Stealthy Attacks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Systems and Control. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Automatic control.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9316-233X
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Signals and Systems. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Automatic control. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Systems and Control.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5491-4068
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Automatic control. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Systems and Control.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6608-250x
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper considers the problem of security allocation in a networked control system under stealthy attacks in which the system is comprised of interconnected subsystems represented by vertices. A malicious adversary selects a single vertex on which to conduct a stealthy data injection attack to maximally disrupt the local performance while remaining undetected. On the other hand, a defender selects several vertices on which to allocate defense resources against the adversary. First, the objectives of the adversary and the defender with uncertain targets are formulated in probabilistic ways, resulting in an expected worst-case impact of stealthy attacks. Next, we provide a graph-theoretic necessary and sufficient condition under which the cost for the defender and the expected worst-case impact of stealthy attacks are bounded. This condition enables the defender to restrict the admissible actions to a subset of available vertex sets. Then, we cast the problem of security allocation in a Stackelberg game-theoretic framework. Finally, the contribution of this paper is highlighted by utilizing the proposed admissible actions of the defender in the context of large-scale networks. A numerical example of a 50-vertex networked control system is presented to validate the obtained results.

National Category
Control Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-522013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-522013DiVA, id: diva2:1833040
Available from: 2024-01-31 Created: 2024-01-31 Last updated: 2024-04-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Security Allocation in Networked Control Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Security Allocation in Networked Control Systems
2023 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sustained use of critical infrastructure, such as electrical power and water distribution networks, requires efficient management and control. Facilitated by the advancements in computational devices and non-proprietary communication technology, such as the Internet, the efficient operation of critical infrastructure relies on network decomposition into interconnected subsystems, thus forming networked control systems. However, the use of public and pervasive communication channels leaves these systems vulnerable to cyber attacks. Consequently, the critical infrastructure is put at risk of suffering operation disruption and even physical damage that would inflict financial costs as well as pose a hazard to human health. Therefore, security is crucial to the sustained efficient operation of critical infrastructure. This thesis develops a framework for evaluating and improving the security of networked control systems in the face of cyberattacks. The considered security problem involves two strategic agents, namely a malicious adversary and a defender, pursuing their specific and conflicting goals. The defender aims to efficiently allocate defense resources with the purpose of detecting malicious activities. Meanwhile, the malicious adversary simultaneously conducts cyber attacks and remains stealthy to the defender. We tackle the security problem by proposing a game-theoretic framework and characterizing its main components: the payoff function, the action space, and the available information for each agent. Especially, the payoff function is characterized based on the output-to-output gain security metric that fully explores the worst-case attack impact. Then, we investigate the properties of the game and how to efficiently compute its equilibrium. Given the combinatorial nature of the defender’s actions, one important challenge is to alleviate the computational burden. To overcome this challenge, the thesis contributes several system- and graph-theoretic conditions that enable the defender to shrink the action space, efficiently allocating the defense resources. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is validated through numerical examples. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2023. p. 79
Series
Information technology licentiate theses: Licentiate theses from the Department of Information Technology, ISSN 1404-5117 ; 2023-003
National Category
Control Engineering
Research subject
Electrical Engineering with specialization in Automatic Control
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-518890 (URN)
Presentation
2023-10-13, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-01-31 Created: 2023-12-28 Last updated: 2024-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Nguyen, Anh TungTeixeira, André M. H.Medvedev, Alexander

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