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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Chee-Wooi Ten


Shiyan Hu


Protecting cyberinfrastructure has been the general security subject that is related to availability, integrity, secrecy, and accountability. Critical infrastructure, such as power grid, has an extremely stringent security protection as compromised cyber assets would significantly impact the physical aspect of operations. This dissertation provides a comprehensive study of the electrical distribution operations that have a broader spectrum of the potentially security-related risks, ranging from the metering integrity to availability of the electrical distribution system. As the next-generation distribution grid would highly rely on the IP-based communication system, it can introduce existing vulnerabilities in protocols, hardware and software that can be the backdoors for attackers as the stepping stone. As this may provide convenient access to the IP-based devices by malicious consumers, the potential tampering can be launched within the vicinity of their home premise by injecting falsified metering information to either avoid paying actual payments of electricity or manipulating the neighborhood metering devices. This scenario is similar to the motive of energy theft. The other attackers’ motive would be to gain unauthorized access and covertly modify the IP-based metering devices in large scale by propagating malware worm across the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network. This dissertation addresses all of the aforementioned issues related to security aspects of the interaction between cyber system and its resulting impact of physical network. The focus of this scholarly archive is three-fold: (1) Integrity – anti-tampering method identifying the anomalous IP-based energy meters, (2) Availability – distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) against data collection unit, and (3) Large-scale integrity/availability – preventive maintenance investigating potential worm propagation across AMI communication network. Each attack scenario has been studied and integrated in the cyberdefense framework addressing the forthcoming security challenges.