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CPSR-SG 2017 Best Paper Award

Published on: 20-Jul-2017

A research through collaboration between NTU and Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) received the best paper award at the 2nd Workshop on Cyber-Physical Security and Resilience in Smart Grids (CPSR-SG 2017), a module event of Cyber-Physical Systems Week 2017. This research explores how to make moving target defense (MTD), an emerging cybersecurity defense approach, stealthy to attackers who aim at misleading the state estimation of power grids.

The research team, headed by Dr. Rui Tan, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at NTU, aim to devise new approaches to secure power grids against potential cyber-attacks. MTD, originated in the network security field, actively changes the configurations of the network systems (e.g., IP addresses) to increase the difficulty for the attacker to launch successful attacks. In the context of power grids, recent studies proposed to actively change the configurations of the physical systems to invalidate the attacker’s knowledge about the targeted grid. However, the existing studies were conducted in less adversarial settings and the research team found that such changes can be easily detected by the attacker, which will motivate the attacker to invest more resources to launch more advanced attacks. To address this, the team devises a new approach that carefully schedules the changes such that they cannot be detected by the attacker.

Encouraged by this award, Mr. Jue Tian, lead author of the paper and a visiting student at NTU, continues investigating more basic properties of MTD in multiple application contexts including power grids, process control systems that can be generally found in critical infrastructures. This research is in collaboration with Dr. Ting Liu and Dr. Xiaohong Guan at XJTU.

Jue Tian, Rui Tan, Xiaohong Guan, Ting Liu. Hidden Moving Target Defense in Smart Grids. In Proc. CPSR-SG, CPS Week, April 21, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

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