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Cyber-physical metropolitan area digital substations test bench for evaluating intrusion detection systems
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  • Santiago Sanchez-Acevedo,
  • Tesfaye Amare Zerihun,
  • Hristo Koshutanski,
  • Alejandro Garcia-Bedoya
Santiago Sanchez-Acevedo
Department of energy systems, SINTEF Energy Research Trondheim

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Tesfaye Amare Zerihun
Department of energy systems, SINTEF Energy Research Trondheim
Hristo Koshutanski
Department of energy systems, SINTEF Energy Research Trondheim
Alejandro Garcia-Bedoya
Cybersecurity unit Eviden BDS R&D Madrid


This paper introduces a cyber-physical test bench for metropolitan area digital substations, which serves as a platform for studying advanced cyber-attacks and evaluating intrusion detection systems. The test bench provides a hardwarein-the-loop environment with a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL). Additionally, the paper demonstrates the testbed's capabilities by testing and validating an AI-based intrusion detection system developed by an industrial company. The demonstration includes testing the cybersecurity tool against a wide range of cyber-attacks, such as false data injection, packet replay, and time desynchronization, on relevant substation automation protocols commonly used in EU power grid infrastructures like IEC-60870-5-104 and IEC61850. The results of the demonstration indicate that the test bench effectively simulates realistic impacts on substation operation when subjected to attacks, thus providing the opportunity to validate the anomaly detection solution.
31 May 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
07 Jun 2024Published in TechRxiv