Impact Assessment of Hypothesized Cyberattacks on Interconnected Bulk Power Systems

by   Chee-Wooi Ten, et al.
Michigan Technological University
Luleå University of Technology
Waterfall Security Solutions Ltd.

The first-ever Ukraine cyberattack on power grid has proven its devastation by hacking into their critical cyber assets. With administrative privileges accessing substation networks/local control centers, one intelligent way of coordinated cyberattacks is to execute a series of disruptive switching executions on multiple substations using compromised supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. These actions can cause significant impacts to an interconnected power grid. Unlike the previous power blackouts, such high-impact initiating events can aggravate operating conditions, initiating instability that may lead to system-wide cascading failure. A systemic evaluation of "nightmare" scenarios is highly desirable for asset owners to manage and prioritize the maintenance and investment in protecting their cyberinfrastructure. This survey paper is a conceptual expansion of real-time monitoring, anomaly detection, impact analyses, and mitigation (RAIM) framework that emphasizes on the resulting impacts, both on steady-state and dynamic aspects of power system stability. Hypothetically, we associate the combinatorial analyses of steady state on substations/components outages and dynamics of the sequential switching orders as part of the permutation. The expanded framework includes (1) critical/noncritical combination verification, (2) cascade confirmation, and (3) combination re-evaluation. This paper ends with a discussion of the open issues for metrics and future design pertaining the impact quantification of cyber-related contingencies.


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