The impact of false data injection attacks against remedial action schemes

Sagnik Basumallik, Sara Eftekharnejad, Brian K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Deployment of energy management systems in electric utilities has resulted in improvement of situational awareness in power systems. However, additional cyber security issues are introduced in real-time operations. Substantial research has since been dedicated towards the feasibility and formulation of coordinated cyber-physical attacks against power systems. However, the full extent of their impacts contributing to cascading failures is not widely explored. This paper investigates to what extent such coordinated attacks against power system state estimation lead to large scale blackouts. To consider the worst case scenarios, false data injection attacks against parameter-based remedial action schemes are investigated on realistic power networks under large inter-area power transfers. Additionally, three indices are proposed to quantify the severity of the post-attack impacts: Loss of Observability after Cascading Failures, Loss of Observability after Controlled Islanding and Lines Recoverable after Controlled Islanding. The three indices will enable system operators to estimate the extent of recoverability of the grid after attacks have adversely impacted the power grid. All simulations are carried on synthetic Illinois 200-bus and South Carolina 500-bus systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106225
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Cascading failures
  • Controlled islanding
  • Coordinated cyber physical attacks
  • Remedial action schemes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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