A Multi-level Fidelity Microgrid Testbed Model for Cybersecurity Experimentation


Aditya Ashok, Siddharth Sridhar, Tamara Becejac, Theora Rice, Matt Engels, Scott Harpool, Mark Rice, and Thomas Edgar, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Long Experience Paper


When experimenting with cybersecurity technologies for industrial control systems, it is often difficult to develop a realistic, self-contained model that provides an ability to easily measure the effects of cyber behavior on the associated physical system. To address this challenge, we have created and instantiated a microgrid cyber-physical model, where both the power distribution and the individual loads are under the control and authority of one entity. This enables cybersecurity experimentation where attacks against the physical system (grid and buildings) can be measured and defended from a single entity's infrastructure. To achieve the appropriate levels of fidelity for cybersecurity effects, our microgrid model integrates multiple levels of simulation, hardware-in-the-loop, and virtualization. In this paper, we present how we designed and instantiated this test case model in a testbed infrastructure, our efforts to validate its operation, and an exemplary multistage attack scenario to showcase the model's utility.

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@inproceedings {238234,
author = {Aditya Ashok and Siddharth Sridhar and Tamara Becejac and Theora Rice and Matt Engels and Scott Harpool and Mark Rice and Thomas Edgar},
title = {A Multi-level Fidelity Microgrid Testbed Model for Cybersecurity Experimentation},
booktitle = {12th USENIX Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/cset19/presentation/ashok},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug