Special Issue on Secure Control of Cyber Physical Systems

The integration of computation, communication, and control units has led to the birth and rapid development of a new generation of engineering systems, the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), which have been increasingly used in fields ranging from aerospace, automobile, industrial process control, to energy, health-care, manufacturing and transportation, where secure operation is one of the key concerns. These CPS are often distributed in nature with a hierarchical structure, and likely to be attacked due to diverse motivations, such as economic reasons (e.g., reducing or not paying electricity charge), or terrorism (e.g., threatening people by controlling electricity and other life-critical resources).

By exploiting the sensing, networking and computation capabilities, the new generation CPS are able to connect the cyber space and the physical space in an unprecedented manner. However, such connections have also provided rich opportunities for adversaries to perform potential malicious attacks.

The control and systems community has played an important role in the analysis and design of CPS, addressing issues related to data imperfection and its effect on closed-loop system performance. The assumed data imperfection models, such as packet drops, delays, quantization, etc., however, are inadequate to characterize the possibility that the communicated data may not be the “true” data collected by sensors or calculated by controllers, which may already have been modified by attackers. In July 2010, the report of Stuxnet, a control system malware targeting Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in power grids, have raised new questions and research challenges relating to the secure control of CPS.

Security of CPS is becoming a research topic drawing enormous attention in the control, computation and communication communities. The classical security enhancing approaches, such as secure detection, estimation and robust control, aim to identify the system abnormity and design strategies under the assumption that the system abnormality due to certain types of malicious attacks is either benign or random. However, sophisticated attackers can design strategies specifically to exploit vulnerabilities of the CPS resulting in system abnormalities that are far from random.

This special issue is expected to link the practical challenges and requirements with the most recent theoretical advances in the systematic study of secure CPS that includes secure detection, estimation and control. The topics relevant to this special issue include but are not limited to:

  • Modeling of CPS under cyber and physical attacks
  • Modeling of attack action and attack strategies analysis
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Secure state estimation
  • Resilient control theory
  • Networked control systems under cyber and physical attacks
  • Failure tolerance, identification and recovery
  • Game theory in CPS
  • Cyber architecture: defense optimization
  • Verification and Validation of CPS security
  • Security issues in CPS applications (e.g., Smart Grid security, UAV control security)

Important Dates:

  • Submission Deadline:         October 9, 2015
  • Publication:                           March, 2017

Guest Editors

Peng Cheng
Dept. of Control Science and Engineering
Zhejiang University
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
E-mail: pcheng at iipc.zju.edu.cn
Anupam Datta
Dept. of Computer Science
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, USA
E-mail: danupam at cmu.edu 
Ling Shi
Dept. of Electronic & Computer Engineering
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong
E-mail: eesling at ust.hk
Bruno Sinopoli
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, USA
E-mail:
brunos at ece.cmu.edu