Impact of firmware modification attacks on power systems field devices

Charalambos Konstantinou, Michail Maniatakos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

62 Scopus citations


The coupling between cyber and physical components makes cyber-security an area of growing interest in the power industry. Sensing, communications, and intelligent control technologies are being integrated with field devices, changing the traditional structure of power systems and transforming power infrastructure into a more interactive, dynamic and controllable system. As a result, the developed smart grid environment increases the chances of being maliciously attacked. Monitoring and control decision equipment such as microprocessor-based protection relays, offer an ideal exploitation candidate for attackers. This paper presents how an adversary is able to disrupt the operation of Circuit Breakers (CBs) by injecting malicious tripping commands to the relay controller. We formulate an attack strategy by reverse engineering the firmware of an existing commercial protection relay. The impact of the developed attacks is studied on the IEEE 14 bus test case system.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781467382892
StatePublished - Mar 17 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13


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