Formal modelling and analysis of DNP3 secure authentication

Amoah, Raphael, Camtepe, Seyit, & Foo, Ernest (2016) Formal modelling and analysis of DNP3 secure authentication. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 59, pp. 345-360.

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Abstract

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are one of the key foundations of smart grids. The Distributed Network Protocol version 3 (DNP3) is a standard SCADA protocol designed to facilitate communications in substations and smart grid nodes. The protocol is embedded with a security mechanism called Secure Authentication (DNP3-SA). This mechanism ensures that end-to-end communication security is provided in substations. This paper presents a formal model for the behavioural analysis of DNP3-SA using Coloured Petri Nets (CPN). Our DNP3-SA CPN model is capable of testing and verifying various attack scenarios: modification, replay and spoofing, combined complex attack and mitigation strategies. Using the model has revealed a previously unidentified flaw in the DNP3-SA protocol that can be exploited by an attacker that has access to the network interconnecting DNP3 devices. An attacker can launch a successful attack on an outstation without possessing the pre-shared keys by replaying a previously authenticated command with arbitrary parameters. We propose an update to the DNP3-SA protocol that removes the flaw and prevents such attacks. The update is validated and verified using our CPN model proving the effectiveness of the model and importance of the formal protocol analysis.

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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 84625
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Smart Grid, SCADA, DNP3, DNP3-SA, Formal Methods, CPN
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnca.2015.05.015
ISSN: 1084-8045
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Computer System Security (080303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Networking and Communications (080503)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Computer Science
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Facilities: Science and Engineering Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Deposited On: 01 Jun 2015 22:14
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2016 09:31

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