Threats to the National Power Grid from Non-Actors: An Assessment of Grid Security and Measures to Improve Security

The past few years have seen the increase of the U.S electric grid experiencing threat of cyber-attack. The Defense Secretary identified a cyber-attack that was being perpetrated by extremist groups or nation states as capable of being destructive as terrorist attacks on 9/11. A National Academy of Sciences report dating some years back found that the physical damage by the terrorists to huge transformers could end up disrupting power to extended regions of the nation and could end up taking months of repair, and that this kind of attack could be done by knowledgeable attackers that have little risk of interdiction or detection.

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Cyber-security happens to be extremely crucial for the secured and reliable operation of the critical smart grid infrastructure. Presently, only Bad Data Detection (BDD) algorithms happen to be in use for data security in state estimation. However, the adversary could attack the cyber-physical grid via any of the entry points of the cyber-system and cause damage on physical assets .


Barenghi, Alessandro, Guido M. Bertoni, Luca Breveglieri, Maria G. Fugini, and Gerardo Pelosi. “Smart Metering in Power Grids: Application Scenarios and Security.” 2011.

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