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Impact of delay attacks on the Phasor Measurement Units

The development of the power system into a smart grid with increased monitoring, communication and control is key to increasing its reliability. The cost of reliability in the physical/electrical layer of the network, however, is an increased vulnerability at the level of the communication layer, particularly to cyber-attacks. In this paper we consider one type of cyber-attacks, known as delay attacks. Delay attacks target the synchronization of measurements. By changing the reference time of some Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs), it is possible to control the phase angle measurements of these devices. In this paper we show the impact that even very small changes in the time reference can have on the analysis of the power system. Specifically, we show the impact of the time shift on calculations of power flows and transmission losses as well as estimations of transmission line parameters. We support our calculations with simulations on the standard IEEE 14 bus network.  Report in pdf

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