Secure Cyber-Physical Systems: Current Trends, Tools and Open Research Problems

Anupam Chattopadhyay1,2,a, Alok Prakash1,b and Muhammad Shafique3
1School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
2School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3Institute of Computer Engineering, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austria.


To understand and identify the attack surfaces of a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is an essential step towards ensuring its security. The growing complexity of the cybernetics and the interaction of independent domains such as avionics, robotics and automotive is a major hindrance against a holistic view CPS. Furthermore, proliferation of communication networks have extended the reach of CPS from a user-centric single platform to a widely distributed network, often connecting to critical infrastructure, e.g., through smart energy initiative. In this manuscript, we reflect on this perspective and provide a review of current security trends and tools for secure CPS. We emphasize on both the design and execution flows and particularly highlight the necessity of efficient attack surface detection. We provide a detailed characterization of attacks reported on different cyber-physical systems, grouped according to their application domains, attack complexity, attack source and impact. Finally, we review the current tools, point out their inadequacies and present a roadmap of future research.

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