ronment (VCSE) testbed14 to explore
vulnerabilities, train operators, and
validate mitigation techniques. VCSE
employs computer-network perfor-mance-analysis software called OPNET
to integrate real devices with simulated
networks and Power World as its power
system simulator. VCSE also incorporates Umbra, Sandia’s patented framework that provides a centralized environment for monitoring and controlling
multiple simulated components.
The SCADASim framework17
developed at the Royal Melbourne Institute
of Technology, Melbourne, Australia,
provides predefined modules for building SCADA simulations, employing the
OMNET++ discrete event simulation
engine to recreate typical SCADA components while providing an underlying
inter-model communications layer.
SCADASim supports integration with
real devices through modules implementing industry-standard protocols.
It can be used to develop a range of
SCADA simulations and evaluate the
effect of cyberattack scenarios on communications, as well as on the normal
functioning of physical processes.
Finally, the system-of-systems approach to testbed development at the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
Zurich, 16 uses the High Level Architecture simulation standard to provide
a multi-domain experimentation environment for interconnecting simulators from multiple domains. The
testbed supports exploration of what-if scenarios in the context of complex
interdependencies between critical infrastructures. Unfortunately, such an
approach might be effective on interdependency studies but be unable to recreate the cyber layer accurately.
EPIC architecture involves an emula-
tion testbed based on Emulab soft-
ware20, 24 to recreate the cyber dimen-
sions of NCIs and software simulation
for the physical dimension. By employ-
ing an emulation-based testbed, EPIC
ensures fidelity, repeatability, mea-
surement accuracy, and safety of the cy-
ber layer, an approach well established
in the field of cyber security2 chosen
to overcome major difficulties trying
to simulate how ICT components be-
have under attacks or during failures.
EPIC uses simulation for the physi-
in cyber-physical experimentation.
Within the DEFT consortium DETER
was interconnected25 in 2009 with
the Virtual Power System Testbed
(VPST) developed by the University
of Illinois. 3 VPST provides simula-
tion capabilities for electricity grids
through real-time simulators (such
as Power World, a proprietary power-
system simulator), extending DETER
capabilities to experimentation with
The key difference between EPIC
and DEFT is EPIC provides a scalable
cost-effective solution for experimenting with multi-domain heterogeneous
physical processes (through its software simulators), while DEFT is more
focused on a specific infrastructure
(such as the power grid). EPIC can also
be viewed as complementary to the
DEFT initiative since the software simulators developed for EPIC are easily
reused through DETER.
The PowerCyber testbed developed
at Iowa State University11 in 2013 integrates SCADA-specific hardware and
software with real-time digital simulators to simulate electrical grids.
It uses virtualization techniques to
address scalability and cost and the
Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment project also developed at Iowa State University for
wide-area network emulation. The
testbed further provides non-real-time
simulation capabilities, primarily for
simulating larger systems and for performing state estimation and contingency analysis.
An approach using real components
for the physical dimension and partly
simulated components for the cyber
dimension comes from the Tsinghua
University of Beijing, 8 using real SCADA
control servers and the NS- 2 network
simulator combined with real control
hardware and field devices. This testbed was designed to determine the
effect of cyberattacks on the SCADA
system, including packet forging, compromised access-control mechanisms,
and compromised SCADA servers. Although it provides reliable experimental data, since almost everything in it
is real, it is unable to support tests on
large infrastructures (such as a national electric grid).
Sandia National Laboratory developed the Virtual Control System Envi-
NCIs are highly
meaning a single
one NCI could
have a cascading
effect on others.