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Evaluating Cascading Effects of Attacks on Resilience of Industrial Control Systems: A Design-Centric Modeling Approach

by   Zhongyuan Hau, et al.
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Imperial College London

A design-centric modeling approach was proposed to model the behavior of the physical process controlled by an Industrial Control System (ICS) and study the cascading effects of data-oriented attacks. A threat model was used as input to guide the construction of the model where control components which are within the adversary's intent and capabilities are extracted. The relevant control components are subsequently modeled together with their control dependencies and operational design specifications. The approach was demonstrated and validated on a water treatment testbed. Attacks were simulated on the testbed model where its resilience to attacks was evaluated using proposed metrics such as Impact Ratio and Time-to-Critical-State. From the analysis of the attacks, design strengths and weaknesses were identified and design improvements were recommended to increase the testbed's resilience to attacks.


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