Threat Modeling of a Smart Grid Secondary Substation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHolik, F., Flå, L. H., Jaatun, M. G., Yayilgan, S. Y., & Foros, J. (2022). Threat modeling of a smart grid secondary substation. Electronics, 11(6), 850. 10.3390/electronics11060850
A full smart grid implementation requires the digitization of all parts of the smart grid infrastructure, including secondary electrical substations. Unfortunately, this introduces new security threats, which were not apparent before. This article uses a Smart Grid Threat Modeling Template implementing the STRIDE model to create a threat model of a digital secondary substation and its communication with the control center. Threats are classified by priority and need for further investigation. The tool was compared with a CORAS analysis, and was determined to be more time efficient. Denial of service (DoS) threats were classified as the most critical, and they were further evaluated in a precise simulation model created for this purpose. This model combines simulation with emulated communication, and enables verification of threat likelihoods and impacts. The results show that even publicly available tools can be easily used to disrupt grid communication and potentially cause loss of the entire grid’s observability and controllability.