Detection of Stealthy Cyber-Physical Line Disconnection Attacks in Smart Grid

R, James Ranjith Kumar, Biplab Sikdar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers stealthy cyber-physical attacks in power systems where one or more lines and buses are disconnected by opening their respective switches/circuit breakers and to conceal such attacks, the SCADA and PMU measurements are manipulated stealthily. The paper presents a framework based on the non-linear power flow model to characterize such cyber-physical attacks and proposes a technique that uses switching transients for detecting them. The detection methodology uses the fact that any physical disconnection will cause a notable amount of transients in the system. These transient components measured by the PMUs are used to validate the legitimacy of the steady-state values of SCADA and PMU measurements and detect stealthy line disconnection and bus outage attacks. The proposed technique has been tested on the IEEE 30 bus system and it is shown that it can detect the cyber-physical attacks that conceal multiple line disconnections and bus outages under various load conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4484-4493
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number5
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

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