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


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 (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE CyberPELS, CyberPELS 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728195919
StatePublished - Oct 13 2020
Event2020 IEEE CyberPELS, CyberPELS 2020 - Miami, United States
Duration: Oct 13 2020 → …

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE CyberPELS, CyberPELS 2020


Conference2020 IEEE CyberPELS, CyberPELS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period10/13/20 → …


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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