Security challenges of reconfigurable devices in the power grid

Suvda Myagmar, Roy Campbell, Marianne Winslett

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

Abstract

Control systems used in the electrical power grid cover large geographic areas with hundreds or thousands of remote sensors and actuators. Software defined radios (SDRs) are a popular wireless alternative for replacing legacy communication devices in power grid control systems. The advantages include a low-cost, extensible communications infrastructure and the ability to reconfigure devices over-the-air, enabling the rapid implementation and upgrade of control networks. This paper focuses on the security issues related to deploying reconfigurable SDR devices as communication platforms for substations and field instruments in the power grid. The security goals are to prevent the installation and execution of unauthorized software, ensure that devices operate within the allowed frequency bands and power levels, and prevent devices from operating in a malicious manner. The main challenges are to dynamically and securely configure software components supplied by different vendors, and to validate device configurations. This paper analyzes the security goals and challenges, and formulates security requirements for a trusted SDR device configuration framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Infrastructure Protection
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages147-160
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780387754611
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event1st Annual IFIP Working Group 11.10 International Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection - Hanover, NH, United States
Duration: Mar 19 2007Mar 21 2007

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume253
ISSN (Print)1868-4238

Other

Other1st Annual IFIP Working Group 11.10 International Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection
CountryUnited States
CityHanover, NH
Period3/19/073/21/07

Keywords

  • Power grid
  • Reconfigurable devices
  • Security
  • Software defined radios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management

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  • Cite this

    Myagmar, S., Campbell, R., & Winslett, M. (2008). Security challenges of reconfigurable devices in the power grid. In Critical Infrastructure Protection (pp. 147-160). (IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology; Vol. 253). Springer New York LLC.