Vulnerability Analysis of Interdependent Critical Infrastructures upon a Cyber-attack

AbstractThere is an extensive literature on modelling cascading effects in Critical Infrastructures (CIs). Concerning the cascading impacts of a cyber-attack upon other CIs, a detailed scenario analysis done by the Norwegian Directorate of Civil Protection concludes that a considerable impact could be achieved. However, the analysis admits that the probability of the attack would be very low, since it would require considerable expertise and resources. We argue that a smart attacker could exploit existing knowledge on cascading impacts to plan for perfidiously-timed cyber-attacks requiring low resources that would achieve a significant disruption of CIs. To illustrate our point, we build and simulate a highly-aggregated system dynamics model using estimates of disruptions effects across CIs taken from the literature.

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