Simulation of cyber-physical attacks on water distribution systems with EPANET

Riccardo Taormina, Stefano Galelli, Nils Ole Tippenhauer, Elad Salomons, Avi Ostfeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this work, we discuss the use of EPANET to simulate the effects of malicious cyber-physical attacks on water distribution systems. EPANET-a standard numerical modeling environment developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency-models hydraulic and water-quality behavior of pressurized pipe networks. EPANET promises to be well suited to show the effects of direct attacks on hydraulic actuators, such as pumps, or the effects of attacks on sensors. Using the C-Town benchmark network, we show that EPANET has some limitations when modeling these attacks, and we report the workarounds needed to overcome these limitations. In particular, we describe attacks that change the control strategies of pumps, and attacks that alter the tank water level reported by sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Singapore Cyber-Security Conference, SG-CRC 2016
Subtitle of host publicationCyber-Security by Design
EditorsAbhik Roychoudhury, Aditya Mathur
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781614996163
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event1st Singapore-Cybersecurity R and D Conference, SG-CRC 2016 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 14 Jan 201615 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameCryptology and Information Security Series
ISSN (Print)1871-6431
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8101


Conference1st Singapore-Cybersecurity R and D Conference, SG-CRC 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The authors and IOS Press.


  • Cyber-physical system security
  • Water distribution systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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