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Attack Detection and Identification in Cyber-Physical Systems – Part I: Models and Fundamental Limitations


F. Pasqualetti, F. Dörfler, F. Bullo


Cyber-physical systems integrate computation, communication, and physical capabilities to interact with the physical world and humans. Besides failures of components, cyberphysical systems are prone to malignant attacks, and specific analysis tools as well as monitoring mechanisms need to be developed to enforce system security and reliability. This paper proposes a unified framework to analyze the resilience of cyberphysical systems against attacks cast by an omniscient adversary. We model cyber-physical systems as linear descriptor systems, and attacks as exogenous unknown inputs. Despite its simplicity, our model captures various real-world cyber-physical systems, and it includes and generalizes many prototypical attacks, including stealth, (dynamic) false-data injection and replay attacks. First, we characterize fundamental limitations of static, dynamic, and active monitors for attack detection and identification. Second, we provide constructive algebraic conditions to cast undetectable and unidentifiable attacks. Third, by using the system interconnection structure, we describe graph-theoretic conditions for the existence of undetectable and unidentifiable attacks. Finally, we validate our findings through some illustrative examples with different cyber-physical systems, such as a municipal water supply network and two electrical power grids


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Misc { PasD_r:2012:IFA_4949,
    author={F. Pasqualetti and F. D{\"o}rfler and F. Bullo},
    title={{Attack Detection and Identification in Cyber-Physical
	  Systems – Part I: Models and Fundamental Limitations}},
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