Security Property Violation in CPS Through Timing

Han Tang
Bruce M. McMillin, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Security in a cyber-physical system (CPS) is not well understood. Interactions between components in the cyber and physical domains lead to unintended information flow. This paper makes use of formal information flow models to describe leakage in a model CPS, the Cooperating FACTS Power System. Results show that while a casual observer cannot ascertain confidential internal information, when application semantics, including timing, are considered, this confidentiality is lost. Model checking is used to verify the result. The significance of the paper is in showing an example of the complex interactions that occur between the Cyber and Physical domains and their impact on security.