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Cyber Threats and Attacks in Smart Energy Networks

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zoya PourmirzaORCiD, Professor Sara Walker


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Smart energy systems are interconnected heterogeneous and multi layered systems that are coupled together with other critical infrastructures such as transport and cyber infrastructure. Due to increased use of information and communication technology and integration of energy system with cyber infrastructures, understanding and protecting against Cyber-Attacks are of paramount importance. In the modern energy system, a secure system not only refers to ensuring the security of supply, but also it refers to defending against Cyber-Attacks such as data integrity attack, and protecting against cyber incidents such as cascading failure and failures of smart meters and other connected devices. The energy systems are generally more resilient against non-cyber related incidents and are able to recover quickly without the incident being realised by end users. However, there have been fewer investigations on cyber related incidents and attacks which can compromise the availability and security of the energy system and have significant impact on the energy network, energy providers, and energy consumers, and other dependent networks. In this chapter we discuss cyber security goals related to smart energy systems and identify the potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities of this system. We discuss the sources, targets and types of cyber threats, including security holes in the existing communication infrastructure (e.g., SCADA and AMI system), threats to the energy system control signals and network status data at each layer of energy system. The incentives and impacts of the Cyber-Attack/incident are identified and mitigation techniques to reduce the negative impacts of such events are proposed. Finally, three main energy network blackouts, which were caused by either Cyber-Attacker failure of cyber components, are explored.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pourmirza Z, Walker S

Editor(s): Mishra BK; Piqueira JRC

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Understanding Cyber Threats and Attacks

Year: 2020

Print publication date: 11/09/2020

Acceptance date: 01/03/2020

Series Title: Safety and Risk in Society

Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc

Place Published: Hauppauge, NY


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781536183368