Systems regulating critical infrastructures, such as electrical grids and water networks, are increasingly geographically distributed, necessitating communication between remote sensors, actuators and controllers.  The combination of networked computational and physical subsystems leads to new security vulnerabilities that adversaries can exploit with devastating consequences.  A synchronized attack on the interdependent network components and physical plants can create complex and new security vulnerabilities that cannot be addressed by securing the constituent systems individually.

This project takes a holistic view by utilizing the properties of physical systems to design new secure protocols and architectures for CPSs through a unified conceptual framework, which uses models for the physical system and the communication/computation network to define the precise attack models and vulnerabilities. These mathematical models are used to design algorithms/protocols with provable security guarantees during operation, thus enabling the design of more trustworthy architectures and components. These algorithms and architectures are validated on CPS testbeds targeting building, automobile, and smart-grid applications. 

This is a multi-disciplinary project which is a collaboration between researchers in information theory, control, cryptography, and embedded system.

Funded by the NSF program on Cyber-Physical Systems through the project Foundations of Secure Cyber-Physical Systems