Feature Selection for Precise Anomaly Detection in Substation Automation Systems

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Wang, X
Fidge, C
Nourbakhsh, G
Foo, E
Jadidi, Z
Li, C
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2021
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Abstract

With the rapid advancement of the electrical grid, substation automation systems (SASs) have been developing continuously. However, with the introduction of advanced features, such as remote control, potential cyber security threats in SASs are also increased. Additionally, crucial components in SASs, such as protection relays, usually come from third-party vendors and may not be fully trusted. Untrusted devices may stealthily perform harmful or unauthorised behaviours which could compromise or damage SASs, and therefore, bring adverse impacts to the primary plant. Thus, it is necessary to detect abnormal behaviours from an untrusted device before it brings about catastrophic impacts. Anomaly detection techniques are suitable to detect anomalies in SASs as they only bring minimal side-effects to normal system operations. Many researchers have developed various machine learning algorithms and mathematical models to improve the accuracy of anomaly detection. However, without prudent feature selection, it is difficult to achieve high accuracy when detecting attacks launched from internal trusted networks, especially for stealthy message modification attacks which only modify message payloads slightly and imitate patterns of benign behaviours. Therefore, this paper presents choices of features which improve the accuracy of anomaly detection within SASs, especially for detecting 'stealthy' attacks. By including two additional features, Boolean control data from message payloads and physical values from sensors, our method improved the accuracy of anomaly detection by decreasing the false-negative rate from 25% to 5% approximately.

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13th IEEE PES Asia-Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference, APPEEC
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Electrical energy transmission, networks and systems
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Wang, X; Fidge, C; Nourbakhsh, G; Foo, E; Jadidi, Z; Li, C, Feature Selection for Precise Anomaly Detection in Substation Automation Systems, 13th IEEE PES Asia-Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference, APPEEC, 2021, 2021-November