Demonstration of man in the middle attack on a commercial photovoltaic inverter providing ancillary services

Georgios Tertytchny, Hazem Karbouj, Lenos Hadjidemetriou, Charalambos Charalambous, Maria K. Michael, Marios Sazos, Michail Maniatakos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

11 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid modernisation of distribution power systems aims to improve system efficiency and reliability while increasing photovoltaic (PV) penetration levels. However, ensuring the cyber security of such smart distribution grids has emerged as major challenge. Cyber-attacks on key equipment of distribution power systems may lead to inefficient operation of the grid, breach private smart meter data or cause intentional false tripping of feeders. In this paper, a man in the middle attack on a commercial solar PV inverter, which provides ancillary services to the grid, is demonstrated to cause an intentional false tripping of the entire feeder leading to a regional blackout. The successful experimental implementation of the attack reveals the effectiveness and the risk of this attack. Detailed risk analysis is conducted to asses the influence of different factors, such as feeder loading and PV inverter capacity, on the effectiveness of the proposed attack.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE CyberPELS (CyberPELS)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728195919
ISBN (Print)9781728195919
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021
Event2020 IEEE CyberPELS (CyberPELS) - Miami, United States
Duration: 13 Oct 202013 Oct 2020


Conference2020 IEEE CyberPELS (CyberPELS)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • cyber-physical attack
  • man in the middle attack
  • solar PV inverter
  • smart grid


Dive into the research topics of 'Demonstration of man in the middle attack on a commercial photovoltaic inverter providing ancillary services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this