Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2014

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CPS: Market Analysis of Attacks Against Demand Response in the Smart Grid

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Demand response systems assume an electricity retail-market with strategic electricity consuming agents. The goal in these systems is to design load shaping mechanisms to achieve efficiency of resources and customer satisfaction. Recent research efforts have studied the impact of integrity attacks in simplified versions of the demand response problem, where neither the load consuming agents nor the adversary are strategic.

In this paper, we study the impact of integrity attacks considering strategic players (a social planner or a consumer) and a strategic attacker. We identify two goals from this attacker: (1) damage the equipment in the power grid by producing sudden overloads, and (2) minimize the costs of participating in the market by compromising and then manipulating control (load shaping) signals. We then explore the resiliency of two different demand response systems to these fraudsters and malicious attackers. Our results provide guidelines for system operators deciding which type of demand-response system they want to implement, how to secure them, and directions for detecting these attacks.


Carlos Barreto    
University of Texas at Dallas
United States

Alvaro Cardenas    
University of Texas at Dallas
United States

Nicanor Quijano    
Universidad de los Andes

Eduardo Mojica-Nava    
Universidad Nacional


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