Vulnerability Analysis of Infrastructure Systems

June 10, 2020

Sean Lane MS Thesis Defense

Sean Lane MS Thesis Defense June 25th at 3:00 PM via Zoom Advisor: Sean Warnick


Complex cyber-physical systems have become fundamental to modern society by effectively providing critical services and improving efficiency in various domains. Unfortunately, as systems become more connected and more complex, they also can become more vulnerable and less robust. As a result, various failure modes become more common and easily triggered from both unanticipated and malicious perturbations.

Research has been conducted in the area of vulnerability analysis for cyber-physical systems, to assist in locating these possible vulnerabilities before they can fail. I present two case studies on different forms of critical infrastructure systems to identify vulnerabilities and understand how external perturbations can affect them, namely UAV drone swarms and municipal water infrastructure. Specifically, this work:

  1. Illustrates a spying attack on an unmanned aerial vehicle swarm performing a collaborative task, along with how the problem could be mitigated by using secure multiparty computation,
  2. Presents an attack to disrupt the service of a hypothetical municipal water system, through the control of speed settings on booster pumps,
  3. Demonstrates the use of system models to highlight inherent system vulnerabilities.