Enhanced Cyber-Physical Security Using Attack-resistant Cyber Nodes and Event-triggered Moving Target Defence

Martin Higgins, Keith Mayes, Fei Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines a cyber-physical authentication strategy to protect power system infrastructure against false data injection (FDI) attacks. We demonstrate that it is feasible to use small, low-cost, yet highly attack-resistant security chips as measurement nodes, enhanced with an event-triggered moving target defence (MTD), to offer effective cyber-physical security. At the cyber layer, the proposed solution is based on the MULTOS Trust-Anchor chip, using an authenticated encryption protocol, offering cryptographically protected and chained reports at up to 12/s. The availability of the trust-anchors, allows the grid controller to delegate aspects of passive anomaly detection, supporting local as well as central alarms. In this context, a distributed event-triggered MTD protocol is implemented at the physical layer to complement cyber side enhancement. This protocol applies a distributed anomaly detection scheme based on Holt-Winters seasonal forecasting in combination with MTD implemented via inductance perturbation. The scheme is shown to be effective at preventing or detecting a wide range of attacks against power system measurement system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-26
Number of pages15
JournalIET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory & Applications
Issue number1
Early online date10 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2021

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