Classification of Cyber-Physical System Adversaries

Investigators:  Sayan Mitra and Geir Dullerud

Classification and understanding of attacks is the first step towards developing principled design technologies for resilient cyberphysical systems. Building up on the existing hybrid system and stochastic process theories, the project classifies a broad range of attacks on monolithic and distributed CPS which encompass traditional attacks on computing infrastructure as well as attacks that exploit the dynamical and network characteristics. There are two sides to the proposed classification: First, it provides algorithms for detecting classes of attacks that can be detected with reasonable resources. Second, it provides lower bound result characterizing classes of attacks that cannot be detected and yet can destabilize the system. At the theoretical level, the outcomes from this project will provide new techniques for reasoning about adversaries in switched and hybrid systems which combine indistinguishability-based arguments from distributed computing and control theory. In summary, this project develops the foundations of a security science for hybrid systems where physics-based processes play principal roles alongside those of computation and communication.

Hard Problem Addressed


  1. Zhenqi Huang, Sayan Mitra, and Geir Dullerud, “Differentially Private Iterative Synchronous Consensus”,  Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES 2012), in conjunction with 19th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2012), Raleigh, NC, October 16-18, 2012. [full text]
  2. Stanley Bak, Fardin Abdi Taghi Abad, Zhenqi Huang, and Marco Caccamo, “Using Run-Time Checking to Provide Safety and Progress for Distributed Cyber-Physical Systems”, 2103 IEEE 19th International Conference on Embedded and Real-Tim Computing Systems and Applications (RTCSA 2013), Taipei, Taiwan, August 19-21, 2013. [full text]
  3. Sayan Mitra, “Proving Abstractions of Dynamical Systems through Numerical Simulations” Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security (HotSoS 2014), Raleigh, NC, April 8-9, 2014. [full text]
  4. Zhenqi Huang and Sayan Mitra, “Proofs from Simulations and Modular Annotations,” 17th International Conference on Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (HSCC 2014), in conjunction with Cyber Physical Systems (CPSWeek 2014), Berlin, Germany, April 14-17, 2014. [full text]
  5. Zhenqi Huang, Yu Wang, Sayan Mitra, and Geir Dullerud “On the Cost of Privacy in Distributed Control Systems”, 3rd ACM International Conference on High Confidence Networked Systems (HiCoNS), in conjunction with Cyber Physical Systems Week 2014 (CPSWeek 2014), Berlin, Germany, April, 14-17, 2014. [full text]
  6. Ray Essick, Ji-Woong Lee, and Geir Dullerud, “Control of Linear Switched Systems with Receding Horizon Modal Information” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, volume 59, issue 9, April 30, 2014. [full text]
  7. Qing Xu, Chun Zhang, and Geir Dullerud, “Stabilization of Markovian Jump Linear Systems with Log-Quantized Feedback”, American Society Mechanical Engineers Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, volume 136, issue 3, May 2014. [full text]
  8. Ray Essick, Ji-Woong Lee, and Geir Dullerud, “Path-By-Path Output Regulation of Switched Systems With a Receding Horizon of Modal Knowledge”, American Control Conference (ACC), Portland, OR, June 4-6, 2014. [full text]
  9. Zhenqi Huang, Chuchu Fan, Alexandru Mereacre, Sayan Mitra, and Marta Kwiatkowska, “Invariant Verification of Nonlinear Hybrid Automata Networks of Cardiac Cells,” 26th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV 2014), Vienna, Austria, July 18-22, 2014. [full text]
  10. Wang, Yu, Zhenqi Huang, Sayan Mitra, and Geir Dullerud, “Entropy-minimizing Mechanism for Differential Privacy of Discrete-time Linear Feedback Systems,” 53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC 2014), Los Angeles, CA, December 15-17, 2014. [full text]
  11. Zhenqi Huang, Sayan Mitra, and Nitin Vaidya, “Differentially Private Distributed Optimization”, IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networks (ICDCN 2015), Zuarinagar, Sancoale, Goa, India, January 4-7, 2015. [full text]