CPSRC Seminar Series - HOW TO HACK A POWER GRID

Speaker Name: 
JianKang Wang
Speaker Title: 
Professor
Speaker Organization: 
Ohio State University
Start Time: 
Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 1:30pm
End Time: 
Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 3:00pm
Location: 
E2-599
Organizer: 
Ricardo Sanfelice

Abstract

The proliferation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled revolutionized people’s lifestyle by providing unconventional energy services, such as demand response programs, zero energy homes, and ultra-fast electric vehicle charging. Paired with these privileges are the unprecedented cyber-threats to the power grid, which could result in wide disruption, and in the worst case, large-scale blackouts.

Defending the electric power grid presents a dilemma. On one hand, the grid has one of the largest cyber-infrastructures. Therefore, it is practically impossible to build a bullet-free shell for the entire system. On the other hand, the grid is a dynamic system, wherein the continuity of operation is crucial. Thus, defense efforts need to be nearly real-time and accurate; slower or false detection would lead to physical system instability and incorrect market decisions.

In this talk, we will take the perspective of hackers, examining their goals, limitations, and the potential of launching successful attacks on the power grid.

 

Bio

Dr. J.K. (Jiankang) Wang is a principal investigator at The Ohio State University (OSU), where she leads the Power System Analysis Research Group. Her research interests include modeling and analyzing cyber-enabled electric power systems and electricity markets. Her recent research focuses on developing analytic and algorithmic tools for practical power system operation and planning, aiming to improve power grid cyber-security, operation reliability, and end-user experience. Her research lab activity collaborates with industry partners and governmental agencies.

Dr. Wang received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, where she minored in Management with a focus on electricity markets and venture capitalism. In 2014, she joined the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at OSU as an assistant professor. She also has a joint appointment from the department of Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE). Since July, 2018, she is appointed as the lead technical specialist by California ISO, where her responsibilities include examining the issues of electricity market manipulation, speculation and arbitrage.