Collaborative Defense of Transmission and Distribution Protection and Control Devices against Cyber Attacks (CODEF)

This project is developing a distributed security domain layer that enables transmission and protection devices to collaboratively defend against cyber attacks in an IEC 61850 environment.

The research is focusing on algorithms that defend against insider attacks that aim to disrupt electric power service by maliciously changing device set points, spoofing spurious power system data, or altering a device configuration, even if commands and data are compliant with respect to syntax, protocol, and targeted device. Detection is based not on conventional cyber network defense, but on devices’ collaborating and assessing correctness in the context of a physical power system state, with application of physical laws and engineering principles. We are leveraging and improving upon IEC 61850 and related cyber-security standards, which will make our results widely applicable to the energy sector and “future proof” in the sense that IEC 61850 is the future of substation communication.

The Illinois team is supporting this effort as an academic subcontractor to ABB.

The investigators include Alfonso Valdes, William H. Sanders, Nitin H. Vaidya, Peter W. Sauer, and Tim Yardley.

(Funded by the Department of Energy via a subcontract from ABB Inc.)