Project

SPEAR: Secure and PrivatE smArt gRid (H2020-DS-2016-2017/H2020-DS-SC7-2017)

Goal: SPEAR aims at a) detecting and responding to cyber-attacks using new technologies and capabilities, b) detecting threat and anomalies timely, c) developing all-in-one security detection solutions, d) leveraging advanced forensics subject to privacy-preserving, e) confronting Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) and targeted attacks in smart grids, f) increasing the resilience of the smart grid innovation, g) alleviating the lack of trust in smart grid operators and h) empowering EU-wide consensus.

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Panagiotis Radoglou Grammatikis
added a research item
The rapid evolution of the smart technologies has digitised the electrical grid into a new paradigm called smart grid (SG). Despite the multiple benefits, this reality raises severe cybersecurity concerns. SPEAR provides a global cybersecurity solution, which (a) detects SG-related cyberthreats, (b) provides an advanced forensic readiness framework; and (c) introduces an SG cyber hygiene framework.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added 2 research items
The interconnected and heterogeneous nature of the next-generation Electrical Grid (EG), widely known as Smart Grid (SG), bring severe cybersecurity and privacy risks that can also raise domino effects against other Critical Infrastructures (CIs). In this paper, we present an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) specially designed for the SG environments that use Modbus/Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3) protocols. The proposed IDS called MENSA (anoMaly dEtection aNd claSsificAtion) adopts a novel Autoencoder-Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) architecture for (a) detecting operational anomalies and (b) classifying Modbus/TCP and DNP3 cyberattacks. In particular, MENSA combines the aforementioned Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) in a common architecture, taking into account the adversarial loss and the reconstruction difference. The proposed IDS is validated in four real SG evaluation environments, namely (a) SG lab, (b) substation, (c) hydropower plant and (d) power plant, solving successfully an outlier detection (i.e., anomaly detection) problem as well as a challenging multiclass classification problem consisting of 14 classes (13 Modbus/TCP cyberattacks and normal instances). Furthermore, MENSA can discriminate five cyberattacks against DNP3. The evaluation results demonstrate the efficiency of MENSA compared to other Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) methods in terms of Accuracy, False Positive Rate (FPR), True Positive Rate (TPR) and the F1 score.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
The technological leap of smart technologies has brought the conventional electrical grid in a new digital era called Smart Grid (SG), providing multiple benefits, such as two-way communication, pervasive control and self-healing. However, this new reality generates significant cybersecurity risks due to the heterogeneous and insecure nature of SG. In particular, SG relies on legacy communication protocols that have not been implemented having cybersecurity in mind. Moreover, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) creates severe cybersecurity challenges. The Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems constitute an emerging technology in the cybersecurity area, having the capability to detect, normalise and correlate a vast amount of security events. They can orchestrate the entire security of a smart ecosystem, such as SG. Nevertheless, the current SIEM systems do not take into account the unique SG peculiarities and characteristics like the legacy communication protocols. In this paper, we present the Secure and PrivatE smArt gRid (SPEAR) SIEM, which focuses on SG. The main contribution of our work is the design and implementation of a SIEM system capable of detecting, normalising and correlating cyberattacks and anomalies against a plethora of SG application-layer protocols. It is noteworthy that the detection performance of the SPEAR SIEM is demonstrated with real data originating from four real SG use case (a) hydropower plant, (b) substation, (c) power plant and (d) smart home.
Panagiotis Radoglou Grammatikis
added a research item
The rapid evolution of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) introduces the healthcare ecosystem into a new reality consisting of smart medical devices and applications that provide multiple benefits, such as remote medical assistance, timely administration of medication, real-time monitoring, preventive care and health education. However, despite the valuable advantages, this new reality increases the cybersecurity and privacy concerns since vulnerable IoMT devices can access and handle autonomously patients’ data. Furthermore, the continuous evolution of cyberattacks, malware and zero-day vulnerabilities require the development of the appropriate countermeasures. In the light of the aforementioned remarks, in this paper, we present an Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS), which can protect the healthcare communications that rely on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Modbus/Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). HTTP is commonly adopted by conventional ICT healthcare-related services, such as web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) applications, while Modbus/TCP is an industrial protocol adopted by IoMT. Although the Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) methods have already demonstrated their efficacy in detecting intrusions, the rarely available intrusion detection datasets (especially in the healthcare sector) complicate their global application. The main contribution of this work lies in the fact that an active learning approach is modelled and adopted in order to re-train dynamically the supervised classifiers behind the proposed IDPS. The evaluation analysis demonstrates the efficiency of this work against HTTP and Modbus/TCP cyberattacks, showing also how the entire accuracy is increased in the various re-training phases.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
Industry 4.0 is the new industrial revolution. By connecting every machine and activity through network sensors to the Internet, a huge amount of data is generated. Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) are two subsets of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which are used to evaluate the generated data and produce valuable information about the manufacturing enterprise, while introducing in parallel the Industrial AI (IAI). In this paper, the principles of the Industry 4.0 are highlighted, by giving emphasis to the features, requirements, and challenges behind Industry 4.0. In addition, a new architecture for AIA is presented. Furthermore, the most important ML and DL algorithms used in Industry 4.0 are presented and compiled in detail. Each algorithm is discussed and evaluated in terms of its features, its applications, and its efficiency. Then, we focus on one of the most important Industry 4.0 fields, namely the smart grid, where ML and DL models are presented and analyzed in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in smart grid applications. Lastly, trends and challenges in the field of data analysis in the context of the new Industrial era are highlighted and discussed such as scalability, cybersecurity, and big data.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
Dense small cell deployment in a Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) is an effective approach to satisfy the increasing requirements of the emerging Fifth Generation (5G) mobile networks. Nevertheless, the optimal deployment of small cells is not always possible, due to certain limitations, such as the existence of backbone infrastructure and appropriate power supply. In addition, the increased throughput requirements in a certain area may be temporal, in case of an event such as a sports match or a concert. To this end, the leverage of multiple Drone-mounted Remote Radio Heads (D-RRHs), coupled with advanced user scheduling and multiplexing schemes, can be a promising asset in provisioning an on-demand and dynamic C-RAN. Nevertheless, finding the optimal placement of the D-RRHs, under certain Quality of Service (QoS) constraints can be challenging. In this work, we propose a D-RRH placement approach that minimizes the transmission power by optimally placing the D-RRH. We formulate the placement optimization problem and decouple it into two separate sub-problems, namely the horizontal placement and the vertical placement problems. An implementation of the Weiszfeld algorithm is utilized in order to solve the horizontal placement problem by finding the point that minimizes the sum distances. The vertical placement problem is calculated as a function of the optimal elevation angle and the radius of the coverage area. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach, we carried out extensive evaluations and compare our proposed approach against two similar approaches. The evaluation results show the feasibility of the proposed approach in minimizing the required transmission power and maintaining fairly good performance in terms of user connectivity.
Panagiotis Radoglou Grammatikis
added 3 research items
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems play a significant role in Critical Infrastructures (CIs) since they monitor and control the automation processes of the industrial equipment. However, SCADA relies on vulnerable communication protocols without any cybersecurity mechanism, thereby making it possible to endanger the overall operation of the CI. In this paper, we focus on the Modbus/TCP protocol, which is commonly utilised in many CIs and especially in the electrical grid. In particular, our contribution is twofold. First, we study and enhance the cyberattacks provided by the Smod pen-testing tool. Second, we introduce an anomaly-based Intrusion Detection System (IDS) capable of detecting Denial of Service (DoS) cyberattacks related to Modbus/TCP. The efficacy of the proposed IDS is demonstrated by utilising real data stemming from a hydropower plant. The accuracy and the F1 score of the proposed IDS reach 81% and 77% respectively.
The transformation of the conventional electricity grid into a new paradigm called smart grid demands the appropriate cybersecurity solutions. In this paper, we focus on the security of the IEC 60870-5-104 (IEC-104) protocol which is commonly used by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in the energy domain. In particular, after investigating its security issues, we provide a multivariate Intrusion Detection System (IDS) which adopts both access control and outlier detection mechanisms in order to detect timely possible anomalies against IEC-104. The efficiency of the proposed IDS is reflected by the Accuracy and F1 metrics that reach 98% and 87%, respectively.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
The advent of the Smart Grid (SG) raises severe cybersecurity risks that can lead to devastating consequences. In this paper, we present a novel anomaly-based Intrusion Detection System (IDS), called ARIES (smArt gRid Intrusion dEtection System), which is capable of protecting efficiently SG communications. ARIES combines three detection layers that are devoted to recognising possible cyberattacks and anomalies against a) network flows, b) Modbus/Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) packets and c) operational data. Each detection layer relies on a Machine Learning (ML) model trained using data originating from a power plant. In particular, the first layer (network flow-based detection) performs a supervised multiclass classification, recognising Denial of Service (DoS), brute force attacks, port scanning attacks and bots. The second layer (packet-based detection) detects possible anomalies related to the Modbus packets, while the third layer (operational data based detection) monitors and identifies anomalies upon operational data (i.e., time series electricity measurements). By emphasising on the third layer, the ARIES Generative Adversarial Network (ARIES GAN) with novel error minimisation functions was developed, considering mainly the reconstruction difference. Moreover, a novel reformed conditional input was suggested, consisting of random noise and the signal features at any given time instance. Based on the evaluation analysis, the proposed GAN network overcomes the efficacy of conventional ML methods in terms of Accuracy and the F1 score.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
The smart grid provides advanced functionalities, including real-time monitoring, dynamic energy management, advanced pricing mechanisms, and self-healing, by enabling the two-way flow of power and data, as well as the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and devices. However, converting the traditional power grids to smart grids poses severe security challenges and makes their components and services prone to cyber attacks. To this end, advanced techniques are required to mitigate the impact of the potential attacks. In this paper, we investigate the use of honeypots, which are considered to mimic the common services of the smart grid and are able to detect unauthorized accesses, collect evidence and help hide the real devices. More specifically, the interaction of an attacker and a defender is considered, who both optimize the number of attacks and defending system configuration, i.e., the number of real devices and honeypots, respectively, with the aim to maximize their individual payoffs. To solve this problem, game theoretic tools are used, considering an one-shot game and a repeated game with uncertainty about the payoff of the attacker, where the Nash Equilibrium (NE) and the Bayesian NE are derived, respectively. Finally, simulation results are provided, which illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are the underlying monitoring and control components of critical infrastructures, such as power, telecommunication, transportation, pipelines, chemicals and manufacturing plants. Legacy SCADA systems operated on isolated networks, that made them less exposed to Internet threats. However, the increasing connection of SCADA systems to the Internet, as well as corporate networks, introduces severe security issues. Security considerations for SCADA systems are gaining higher attention, as the number of security incidents against these critical infrastructures is increasing. In this survey, we provide an overview of the general SCADA architecture, along with a detailed description of the SCADA communication protocols. Additionally, we discuss certain high-impact security incidents, objectives, and threats. Furthermore, we carry out an extensive review of the security proposals and tactics that aim to secure SCADA systems. We also discuss the state of SCADA system security. Finally, we present the current research trends and future advancements of SCADA security.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added 2 research items
The Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are the underlying monitoring and control components of critical infrastruc-tures, which consist of a number of distributed field devices, such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs). As modern ICS are connected to the Internet, in the context of their digitalization as a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) domain, a number of security threats are introduced, whose exploitation can lead to severe consequences. Honeypots and honeynets are promising countermeasures that attract attackers and mislead them from hacking the real infrastructure, while gaining valuable information about the attack patterns as well as the source of the attack. In this work, we implement an interactive, proof-ofconcept ICS honeypot, which is based on Conpot, that is able to emulate a physical ICS device, by replicating realistic traffic from the real device. As the honeypot runs inside a Virtual Machine, it is possible to emulate the entire organization's ICS infrastructure, a fact that is very important for the security of the modern critical infrastructure. In order to assess the proposed honeypot, a real-life demonstration scenario was designed, which involves a hydro power plant. The honeypot architecture is provided, while the structural components are presented in detail.
With the rapid progression of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and especially of Internet of Things (IoT), the conventional electrical grid is transformed into a new intelligent paradigm, known as Smart Grid (SG), providing significant benefits both for utility companies and energy consumers such as the two-way communication (both electricity and information), distributed generation, remote monitoring, self-healing and pervasive control. However, at the same time, this dependence introduces new security challenges, since SG inherits the vulnerabilities of multiple heterogeneous, co-existing legacy and smart technologies, such as IoT and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). An effective countermeasure against the various cyberthreats in SG is the Intrusion Detection System (IDS), informing the operator timely about the possible cyberattacks and anomalies. In this paper, we provide an anomaly-based IDS especially designed for SG utilising operational data from a real power plant. In particular, many machine learning and deep learning models were deployed, introducing novel parameters and feature representations in a comparative study. The evaluation analysis demonstrated the efficacy of the proposed IDS and the improvement due to the suggested complex data representation.
Panagiotis Radoglou Grammatikis
added a research item
The rapid evolution of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services transforms the conventional electrical grid into a new paradigm called Smart Grid (SG). Even though SG brings significant improvements, such as increased reliability and better energy management, it also introduces multiple security challenges. One of the main reasons for this is that SG combines a wide range of heterogeneous technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. The latter are responsible for monitoring and controlling the automatic procedures of energy transmission and distribution. Nevertheless, the presence of these systems introduces multiple vulnerabilities because their protocols do not implement essential security mechanisms such as authentication and access control. In this paper, we focus our attention on the security issues of the IEC 60870-5-104 (IEC-104) protocol, which is widely utilized in the European energy sector. In particular, we provide a SCADA threat model based on a Coloured Petri Net (CPN) and emulate four different types of cyber attacks against IEC-104. Last, we used AlienVault's risk assessment model to evaluate the risk level that each of these cyber attacks introduces to our system to confirm our intuition about their severity.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added 2 research items
Power grid is a major part of modern Critical Infrastructure (CIN). The rapid evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) enables traditional power grids to encompass advanced technologies that allow them to monitor their state, increase their reliability, save costs and provide ICT services to end customers, thus converting them into smart grids. However, smart grid is exposed to several security threats, as hackers might try to exploit vulnerabilities of the industrial infrastructure and cause disruption to national electricity system with severe consequences to citizens and commerce. This paper investigates and compares honey-x technologies that could be applied to smart grid in order to distract intruders, obtain attack strategies, protect the real infrastructure and form forensic evidence to be used in court.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
The Smart Grid (SG) paradigm is the next technological leap of the conventional electrical grid, contributing to the protection of the physical environment and providing multiple advantages such as increased reliability, better service quality, as well as efficient utilisation of the existing infrastructure and the renewable energy resources. However, despite the fact that it brings beneficial environmental, economic and social changes, the existence of such a system possesses important security and privacy challenges, since it includes a combination of heterogeneous, co-existing smart and legacy technologies. Based on the rapid evolution of the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), both academia and industry have developed appropriate measures for enhancing the security surface of the SG paradigm by, for example, integrating efficient, lightweight encryption and authorisation mechanisms. Nevertheless, these mechanisms may not prevent various security threats, such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that target on the availability of the underlying systems. An efficient countermeasure against several cyberattacks is the Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS). In this paper, we examine the contribution of the Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) in the SG paradigm, providing an analysis of 37 cases. More detailed, these systems can be considered as a secondary defence mechanism, which enhances the cryptographic processes, by timely detecting or/and preventing potential security violations. For instance, if a cyberattack bypasses the essential encryption and authorisation mechanisms, then the IDPS systems can act as a secondary protection service, informing the system operator for the presence of the specific attack or enabling appropriate preventive countermeasures. The cases we study focused on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, substations and synchrophasors. Based on our comparative analysis, the limitations and the shortcomings of the current IDPS systems are identified, while appropriate recommendations are provided for future research efforts.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a research item
The Electric Smart Grid (ESG) is an intelligent critical infrastructure aiming to create an automated and distributed advanced energy delivery network, while preserving information privacy. This study proposes the implementation of an Anonymous Incident Communication Channel (AICC) amongst smart grids across Europe to improve situational awareness and enhance security of the new electric intelligent infrastructures. All participating organizations will have the ability to broadcast sensitive information, stored anonymously in a repository, without exposing the reputation of the organisation. This work focuses on the requirements of establishment, the possible obstacles and proposed data protection techniques to be applied in the AICC. An analysis is also conducted regarding the documentation of cyber-incidents.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added 2 research items
The multiple interconnections and the heterogeneity of the devices and technologies into the Smart Grid (SG) generate possible cyber-physical security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by various cyberattackers. The cyberattacks in SG, usually target the availability and the information integrity of the systems. Replay attacks, Denial of Service (DoS), Distributed DoS (DDoS) and botnets are typical examples. Furthermore, the hacking tools have been largely automated, so even a novice can execute destructive cyberattacks. These situations make it necessary to develop efficient firewall systems that can prevent possible cyberattacks. In this paper, we present an overview of the various firewall systems in the SG paradigm and also we provide new research directions in this field.
The Smart Grid (SG) paradigm constitutes the new technological evolution of the traditional electrical grid, providing remote monitoring and controlling capabilities among all its operations through computing services. These new capabilities offer a lot of benefits, such as better energy management, increased reliability and security, as well as more economical pricing. However, despite these advantages, it introduces significant security challenges, as the computing systems and the corresponding communications are characterized by several cybersecurity threats. An efficient solution against cyberattacks is the Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). These systems usually operate as a second line of defence and have the ability to detect or even prevent cyberattacks in near real-time. In this paper, we present a new IDS for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) utilizing machine learning capabilities based on a decision tree. Decision trees have been used for multiple classification problems like the distinguishment between the normal and malicious activities. The experimental evaluation demonstrates the efficiency of the proposed IDS, as the Accuracy and the True Positive Rate of our IDS reach 0:996 and 0:993 respectively.
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added an update
University of Western Macedonia organizes the SPEAR Kick Off Meeting in 10 & 11 of May in Thessaloniki, Greece!
 
Panagiotis G. Sarigiannidis
added a project goal
SPEAR aims at a) detecting and responding to cyber-attacks using new technologies and capabilities, b) detecting threat and anomalies timely, c) developing all-in-one security detection solutions, d) leveraging advanced forensics subject to privacy-preserving, e) confronting Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) and targeted attacks in smart grids, f) increasing the resilience of the smart grid innovation, g) alleviating the lack of trust in smart grid operators and h) empowering EU-wide consensus.