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July 3, 2019: Invited Speaker Seminar: Cyber Security of Smart Grids

Mohsen Ghafouri, Ph.D.
Polytechnique Montreal

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 10:30 am
Room EV003.309


The energy sector faces growing cyber-threats targeting its critical infrastructures as it embraces the latest information and communication technologies. The Ukrainian cyber-attack that compromised regional control centers, and interrupted over 220,000 customers emphasized on the importance of security assessment of energy sector. In this regard, the first part of seminar will be dedicated to security assessments of energy infrastructure, particularly the smart grids and power systems. Then, as an example of smart grid modeling and its stability issues, an overview of my Ph.D. project “subsynchronous stability of wind farms” will be presented. To demonstrate the impact of compromised industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices on a power system, a Smart Grid Security Research Chair project entitled as “Cyber Attack on Voltage Stability Monitoring” will be presented. In this project, Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) are compromised by adversaries to inject false data into power system measurements and mislead the operator about the stability condition of the system. The considered attack model is designed to be stealthy since it is created based on power flow equations of the system. Then, a detection algorithm will be proposed to reveal the attack on PMU data. The proposed mitigation scheme helps power system operator to detect which PMU is under-attack and calculate the correct measurements. The presentation will be concluded by a brief discussion about how my set of skills will nicely complement the current expertise domains of security research group.


Mohsen Ghafouri received his B.Sc. and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada, in 2018. He was a researcher at Iranian Power System Research Institute (NRI) and Sharif University, from 2011 to 2014. In 2018, he was a researcher in CYME International, Eaton Power System Solutions, Montreal, QC, Canada. In August 2018, he joined the Security Research group of Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE), where he is currently a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests include cyber security of smart grids, power system modeling, microgrid, wind energy, and control of industrial processes.


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