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Controllability under Adversarial Influence in Critical Information Infrastructures

Project Overview: 

CAIN is a research project for the development of a Marie-Curie fellowship. Its goal is to offer the means necessaries to investigate the problem of identifying dynamic subsets of the control network, which can override adversary behaviour whilst minimising the magnitude of control inputs. So far, this topic has been widely studied through complete and partial matching algorithms, where it is required finding the minimum set of driver nodes in charge of controlling the entire network. However, our proposal goes a little further beyond of the matching theory by finding the minimum set of driver nodes through the Power Dominating Set (PDS). It is an alternative to the matching but focused on the structure of electric power networks and its monitoring networks (e.g., SCADA systems).

Based on these studies, our aim has been to analyse the network behaviour under adversarial actions, in which a set of attack models have been designed for non-iterative[1] and multi-interactive[2] scenarios. These analyses have been keys to provide efficient recovery algorithms of “structural controllability” based on the network topology knowledge and the implicit vulnerabilities of the system. We have particularly provided recovery mechanisms both for global and distributed cases, in which graphs (representing networks of the real word and following theoretical models) may be partitioned but at the same time re-established to restore the structural controllability[3][4][5][6].

In order to offer important progresses in the energy and control sector, these studies have been focused on interconnected electrical networks (under specific assumptions and theoretical networks – power-law based distributions) deployed  within Smart Grid systems.  Therefore, The results of the CAIN project under Marie Curie actions have been very varied, in terms of protection[7][8][9], detection[10][11], response[12], and recovery[2][3], as also indicated below in the references section.



  1. Cristina Alcaraz and Estefania Etcheves Miciolino and Stephen Wolthusen (2013): Structural Controllability of Networks for Non-Interactive Adversarial Vertex Removal. In: 8th International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security, pp. 120-132, Springer Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2013, ISSN: 0302-9743.
  2. Cristina Alcaraz and Estefania Etcheves Miciolino and Stephen Wolthusen (2015): Multi-Round Attacks on Structural Controllability Properties for Non-Complete Random Graphs. In: The 16th Information Security Conference (ISC), pp. 140–151, Springer Springer, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2015.
  3. Cristina Alcaraz and Stephen Wolthusen (2014): Recovery of Structural Controllability for Control Systems. In: Eighth IFIP WG 11.10 International Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection, SRI International, Arlington, Virginia, USA, pp. 47-63, Springer Springer, Arlington, Virginia, USA, 2014, ISSN: 1868-4238.
  4. Cristina Alcaraz and Javier Lopez (2018): A Cyber-Physical Systems-Based Checkpoint Model for Structural Controllability. In: IEEE Systems Journal, vol. 12, pp. 3543-3554, 2018, ISSN: 1932-8184.
  5. Cristina Alcaraz (2018): Cloud-Assisted Dynamic Resilience for Cyber-Physical Control Systems. In: IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 76-82, 2018, ISSN: 1536-1284.
  6. Cristina Alcaraz (2017): Resilient Industrial Control Systems based on Multiple Redundancy. In: International Journal of Critical Infrastructures (IJCIS), vol. 13, no. 2/3, pp. 278 - 295, 2017, ISSN: 1741-8038.
  7. Lorena Cazorla and Cristina Alcaraz and Javier Lopez (2018): Cyber Stealth Attacks in Critical Information Infrastructures. In: IEEE Systems Journal, vol. 12, pp. 1778-1792, 2018, ISSN: 1932-8184.
  8. Cristina Alcaraz and Javier Lopez and Stephen Wolthusen (2016): Policy Enforcement System for Secure Interoperable Control in Distributed Smart Grid Systems. In: Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 59, pp. 301–314, 2016, ISSN: 1084-8045.
  9. Cristina Alcaraz and Sherali Zeadally (2015): Critical Infrastructure Protection: Requirements and Challenges for the 21st Century. In: International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection (IJCIP), vol. 8, pp. 53–66, 2015, ISSN: 1874-5482.
  10. Lorena Cazorla and Cristina Alcaraz and Javier Lopez (2015): A Three-Stage Analysis of IDS for Critical Infrastructures. In: Computers & Security, vol. 55, no. November, pp. 235-250, 2015, ISSN: 0167-4048.
  11. Cristina Alcaraz and Lorena Cazorla and Gerardo Fernandez (2015): Context-Awareness using Anomaly-based Detectors for Smart Grid Domains. In: 9th International Conference on Risks and Security of Internet and Systems, pp. 17-34, Springer International Publishing Springer International Publishing, Trento, 2015, ISBN: 978-3-319-17126-5.
  12. Lorena Cazorla and Cristina Alcaraz and Javier Lopez (2015): Awareness and Reaction Strategies for Critical Infrastructure Protection. In: Computers and Electrical Engineering, vol. 47, pp. 299-317, 2015, ISSN: 0045-7906.