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Mitigating Gray Hole Attacks in Industrial Communications using Anonymity Networks: Relationship Anonymity-Communication Overhead Trade-off
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Communication Networks.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Communication Networks.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4876-0223
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Communication Networks.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3704-1338
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gray hole attacks are a significant threat to mission critical communication infrastructures, such as industrial control systems. They are relatively easy to perpetrate, as an attacker that has access to communication links or equipment could observe the source and destination addresses for every message, and can identify and discard the messages exchanged between particular communication participants. Anonymity networks could render these attacks more difficult by providing anonymous communication via relaying. Nevertheless, relaying introduces overhead as it increases end-to-end message delivery delay and introduces additional traffic, which both in practice must often be low. Hence, an important question is how to optimize anonymity for limited overhead. In this paper we address this question by studying two anonymity networks: MCrowds, an extension of Crowds, which provides unbounded communication delay and Minstrels, which provides bounded communication delay. We derive exact analytical expressions for the relationship anonymity for these systems. Using MCrowds and Minstrels we show that, contrary to intuition, increased overhead does not always improve anonymity. We investigate the impact of the system’s parameters on anonymity and on the optimal anonymity network parameters, and the sensitivity of anonymity to the misestimation of the number of attackers.

National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Electrical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-152222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-152222DiVA: diva2:749275
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-09-23 Created: 2014-09-23 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cyber-security in Smart Grid Communication and Control
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cyber-security in Smart Grid Communication and Control
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Society is increasingly dependent on the reliable operation of power systems. Power systems, at the same time, heavily rely on information technologies to achieve efficient and reliable operation. Recent initiatives to upgrade power systems into smart grids target an even tighter integration with information technologies to enable the integration of renewable energy sources, local and bulk generation and demand response. Thus for the reliable operation of smart grids, it is essential that its information infrastructure is secure and reliable in the face of both failures and attacks. This thesis contributes to improving the security of power systems against attacks on their information infrastructures. The contributions lie in three areas: data integrity, data condentiality, and data availability of power system applications.

We analyze how characteristics of power system applications can be leveraged for detection and mitigation of data integrity attacks. We consider singleand multi-area power system state estimation. For single-area state estimation, we look at the integrity of measurement data delivered over a wide area communication network. We deffine security metrics that quantify the importance of particular components of the communication network, and that allow us to optimize the deployment of network, transport and application layer security solutions. For multi-area state estimation, we look at the integrity of data exchanged between the control centers of neighboring areas in face of a targeted trojan that compromises an endpoint of the secure communication tunnel. We deffine multiple attack strategies and show that they can signifficantly disturb the state estimation. Moreover, we propose schemes that could be used for detection, localization, and mitigation of data integrity attacks.

We investigate how to provide data confidentiality for power system applications when they utilize cloud computing. We focus on contingency analysis and propose an approach to obfuscate information regarding power flows and the presence of a contingency violation while allowing the operator to analyze contingencies with the needed accuracy in the cloud. Our empirical evaluation shows that the errors introduced into power flows due to the proposed obfuscation are small, and that the RMS errors introduced grow linearly with the magnitude of obfuscation.

We study how to improve data availability in face of gray hole attacks combined with traffic analysis. We consider two cases: SCADA substation to control center communication using DNP3, and inter-control center communication. In the first case, we propose a support vector machine-based traffic analysis algorithm that uses only the information on timing and direction of three consecutive messages, and show that a gray hole attack can be effectively performed even if the traffic is sent through an encrypted tunnel. We discuss possible mitigation schemes, and show that a minor modication of message timing could help mitigate the attack. In the second case, we study how anonymity networks can be used to improve availability at the price of increased communication overhead and delay. We show that surprisingly availability is not always improved with more overhead and delay. Moreover, we show that it is better to overestimate than to underestimate the attacker's capabilities when conguring anonymity networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. vi, 48 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2014:039
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Electrical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-152223 (URN)978-91-7595-250-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-07, Hörsal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140924

Available from: 2014-09-24 Created: 2014-09-23 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Dán, GyörgyKarlsson, Gunnar

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