Dynamical Analysis of Cyber-Related Contingencies Initiated from Substations

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


The N-1 contingency analysis of bulk power systems is a widely accepted pre-screening criterion to ensure system reliability and stability in operational planning. While the nature of contingencies in anticipating the threats relies on the initial events of weather-related storms, the emerging threats of cybersecurity on substation automation have introduced the complexity of threat event combinations. This chapter introduces a fundamental establishment of stability studies under the assumption of intrusion-based cyber-physical attack, which can impact the physical operation of a power system. The study of such combinatorial attacks can be hypothesized based multiple substation outages that can be plotted by attackers to disruptively opening the breakers in compromised substations, S-k, where k is the number of substation outage based on the total number of substations S. This chapter demonstrates the stability of the grid based on the impact analysis initiated hypothetically by switching attacks and the subsequent events that can lead to widespread instability. The proof-of-concept cases included in this study are performed based on the dynamical simulation using the IEEE-14 bus system. Relay models and associated control mechanisms provided are to characterize the relays tripping and its cascading consequences by the initial event of switching attacks based on observation of other locations of relaying. The expected outcome of simulated statistics for the small power system has shown the cascading effects of grids between initial event and topology of the network. The cascading effects of relay models are discerned by the local measurements from other substations based on the electrical quantity, such as frequency and voltage of substations as well as the rotor angle of generators, to exhibit spatiotemporal breaker trippings.

Publication Title

Security of Cyber-Physical Systems