Puppet attack: A denial of service attack in advanced metering infrastructure network

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Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is the core component in a smart grid that exhibits a highly complex network configuration. AMI shares information about consumption, outages, and electricity rates reliably and efficiently by bidirectional communication between smart meters and utilities. However, the numerous smart meters being connected through mesh networks open new opportunities for attackers to interfere with communications and compromise utilities assets or steal customers private information. In this paper, we present a new DoS attack, called puppet attack, which can result in denial of service in AMI network. The intruder can select any normal node as a puppet node and send attack packets to this puppet node. When the puppet node receives these attack packets, this node will be controlled by the attacker and flood more packets so as to exhaust the network communication bandwidth and node energy. Simulation results show that puppet attack is a serious and packet deliver rate goes down to 20-10%. After analyzing the puppet attack, we propose the detection and prevention mechanism. Simulations show that puppet attack causes the same damage as a flooding attack and the proposed method can prevent the puppet attack efficiently.




Yi, P., Zhu, T., Zhang, Q., Wu, Y., & Pan, L. (2016). Puppet attack: A denial of service attack in advanced metering infrastructure network. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 59, 325–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnca.2015.04.015

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