Coordinated cyberattacks of power meter readings can be arranged to be undetectable by any bad-data detection algorithm in the power system state estimation process. These unobservable attacks present a potentially serious threat to grid operations. Of particular interest are sparse attacks that involve the compromise of a modest number of meter readings.

An efficient algorithm to find all unobservable attacks [under standard DC load flow approximations] involving the compromise of exactly two power injection meters and an arbitrary number of line power meters is presented. This requires O ( n 2 m ) flops for a power system with n buses and m line meters. If all lines are metered, there exist canonical forms that characterize all 3, 4, and 5-sparse unobservable attacks. These can be quickly detected in power systems using standard graph algorithms.

Known-secure phasor measurement units [PMUs] can be used as countermeasures against an arbitrary collection of cyberattacks. Finding the minimum number of necessary PMUs is NP-hard. It is shown that p +1 PMUs at carefully chosen buses are sufficient to neutralize a collection of p cyberattacks. ...(Read more...)