Investigating Cyber-Physical Attacks against IEC 61850 Photovoltaic Inverter Installations

BooJoong Kang, Peter Maynard, Kieran McLaughlin, Sakir Sezer, Filip Andrén, Christian Seitl, Friederich Kupzog, Thomas Strasser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

38 Citations (Scopus)
2260 Downloads (Pure)


Cyber-attacks against Smart Grids have been found in the real world. Malware such as Havex and BlackEnergy have been found targeting industrial control systems (ICS) and researchers have shown that cyber-attacks can exploit vulnerabilities in widely used Smart Grid communication standards. This paper addresses a deep investigation of attacks against the manufacturing message specification of IEC 61850, which is expected to become one of the most widely used communication services in Smart Grids. We investigate how an attacker can build a custom tool to execute man-in-the-middle attacks, manipulate data, and affect the physical system. Attack capabilities are demonstrated based on NESCOR scenarios to make it possible to thoroughly test these scenarios in a real system. The goal is to help understand the potential for such attacks, and to aid the development and testing of cyber security solutions. An attack use-case is presented that focuses on the standard for power utility automation, IEC 61850 in the context of inverter-based distributed energy resource devices; especially photovoltaic (PV) generators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2015 IEEE 20th Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation (ETFA)
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-7929-8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
EventIEEE 20th International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation - Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Duration: 08 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


ConferenceIEEE 20th International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation


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