Detectability of Intermittent Zero-Dynamics Attack in Networked Control Systems

Yanbing Mao, Hamidreza Jafarnejadsani, Pan Zhao, Emrah Akyol, Naira Hovakimyan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper analyzes stealthy attacks, particularly the zero-dynamics attack (ZDA) in networked control systems. ZDA hides the attack signal in the null-space of the state-space representation of the control system and hence it cannot be detected via conventional detection methods. A natural defense strategy builds on changing the null-space via switching through a set of topologies. In this paper, we propose a realistic ZDA variation where the attacker is aware of this topology-switching strategy, and hence employs the policy to avoid detection: pause (update and resume) attack before (after) topology switching to evade detection. We first systematically study the proposed ZDA variation, and then develop defense strategies under the realistic assumptions. Particularly, we characterize conditions for detectability of the proposed ZDA variation, in terms of the network topologies to be maintained, the set of agents to be monitored, and the measurements of the monitored agents that should be extracted. We provide numerical results that demonstrate our theoretical findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 58th Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728113982
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Event58th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019 - Nice, France
Duration: Dec 11 2019Dec 13 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Conference58th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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