Technical Papers
Feb 7, 2017

Characterizing Cyber-Physical Attacks on Water Distribution Systems

Publication: Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Volume 143, Issue 5

Abstract

This work contributes a modeling framework to characterize the effect of cyber-physical attacks (CPAs) on the hydraulic behavior of water distribution systems. The framework consists of an attack model and a MATLAB toolbox named epanetCPA. The former identifies the components of the cyber infrastructure (e.g., sensors or programmable logic controllers) that are potentially vulnerable to attacks, whereas the latter allows determining the exact specifications of an attack (e.g., timing or duration) and simulating it with EPANET. The framework is applied to C-Town network for a broad range of illustrative attack scenarios. Results show that the hydraulic response of the network to a cyber-physical attack depends not only on the attack specifications, but also on the system initial conditions and demand at the junctions. It is also found that the same hydraulic response can be obtained by implementing completely different attacks. This has some important implications on the design of attack detection mechanisms, which should identify anomalous behaviors in a water network as well as the cyber components being hacked. Finally, the manuscript presents some ideas regarding the next steps needed to thoroughly assess the risk of cyber attacks on water distribution systems.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Singapore, under its National Cybersecurity R&D Programme (Award No. NRF2014NCR-NCR001-40).

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Go to Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Volume 143Issue 5May 2017

History

Received: Jul 14, 2016
Accepted: Oct 19, 2016
Published online: Feb 7, 2017
Published in print: May 1, 2017
Discussion open until: Jul 7, 2017

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Authors

Affiliations

Riccardo Taormina [email protected]
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, iTrust Centre for Research in Cyber Security, Singapore Univ. of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Rd., Singapore 487372 (corresponding author). E-mail: [email protected]
Stefano Galelli, M.ASCE [email protected]
Assistant Professor, Pillar of Engineering Systems and Design, Singapore Univ. of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Rd., Singapore 487372. E-mail: [email protected]
Nils Ole Tippenhauer [email protected]
Assistant Professor, Pillar of Information Systems Technology and Design, Singapore Univ. of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Rd., Singapore 487372. E-mail: [email protected]
Elad Salomons [email protected]
Consultant, OptiWater, 6 Amikam Israel St., Haifa 3438561, Israel. E-mail: [email protected]
Avi Ostfeld, F.ASCE [email protected]
Professor, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel. E-mail: [email protected]

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