Best Practices for Timing Attack Mitigation   [open pdf - 515KB]

From the Introduction: "GPS [Global Positioning System] signals play essential roles in the electric subsector by providing precision timing used to synchronize and record measurements from a range of equipment. However, previous research has demonstrated that GPS signals can be spoofed or jammed relatively easily in order to interfere with timing-reliant equipment. This document outlines utility best practices for mitigating against timing attacks in the electric subsector based on an assessment of the difficulty and impact of realistic timing attacks and testing of the effectiveness of technologies capable of mitigating them. This analysis builds on research establishing the vulnerability of GPS-reliant timing equipment to jamming and spoofing by elaborating the difficulty, consequences, and mitigations for timing attacks that adversaries might realistically attempt. While timing attacks are relatively low-cost, low-sophistication, and capable of systemic consequences in the electric subsector, they can be effectively mitigated through well-targeted and diverse mitigations. Based on results from mitigation testing, development of attack scenarios for precision timing manipulation, an analysis of critical points of failure for a representative grid model, and software assurance testing, this report describes the following recommendations for utility best practices to protect against and mitigate potential GPS timing attacks."

Report Number:
LLNL-TR-830476; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Technical Report No. 830476
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Office of Scientific and Technical Information: https://www.osti.gov/
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