CRUTIAL: CRitical UTility InfrastructurAL resilience

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The project addresses new networked ICT systems for the management of the electric power grid, in which artefacts controlling the physical process of electricity transportation need to be connected with information infrastructures, through corporate networks (intranets), which are in turn connected to the Internet.

CRUTIAL's innovative approach resides in modelling interdependent infrastructures taking into account the multiple dimensions of interdependencies, and attempting at casting them into new architectural patterns, resilient to both accidental failures and malicious attacks.


The objectives of the project are:

  • investigation of models and architectures that cope with the scenario of openness, heterogeneity and evolvability endured by electrical utilities infrastructures;
  • analysis of critical scenarios in which faults in the information infrastructure provoke serious impacts on the controlled electric power infrastructure;
  • investigation of distributed architectures enabling dependable control and management of the power grid.

Approach and Methods

The project will: a) identify and describe control system scenarios; b) provide modelling approaches for understanding and mastering the various interdependencies; c) develop a test bed integrating the electric power system and the information infrastructure; d) investigate fault-tolerant architectural configurations; e) provide qualitative and quantitative support for the identification, analysis and evaluation of the scenarios identified. The results will be validated against test beds of Electric Power Systems.

The project's results will help in designing and assessing new Electric Power systems and information infrastructures. Thus, they will enable to reduce the current (unfortunately repetitive) blackouts, in terms of frequency, duration and extent, and provide insights to Electric Power companies and standardization bodies for exploiting resilience in critical utilities infrastructures.


  • Alysson Bessani, Miguel Correia, Joni Fraga, Lau Cheuk Lung, “An Efficient Byzantine-Resilient Tuple Space”, IEEE Transactions on Computers. Vol. 58 no. 8. pp. 1080-1094. IEEE Computer Society. August 2009., Aug. 2009.

  • Eduardo Alchieri, Alysson Bessani, Joni Fraga, Fabíola Greve, “Byzantine Consensus with Unknown Participants”, in Proceedings of the 12th International Conference On Principles Of DIstributed Systems (OPODIS'08). LNCS 5401. Luxor, Egypt., Dec. 2008.

  • Paulo Sousa, Alysson Bessani, Rafael R. Obelheiro, “The FOREVER Service for Fault/Intrusion Removal”, in Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Recent Advances on Intrusion-Tolerant Systems (WRAITS 2008). Glasgow, UK, April 2008., Apr. 2008.

  • Steven M. Bellovin, Terry V. Benzel, Bob Blakley, Dorothy E. Denning, Whitfield Diffie, Jeremy Epstein, Paulo Verissimo, “Information Assurance Technology Forecast 2008”, IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 10-17, January/February, 2008., Jan. 2008.

  • Wagner Saback Dantas, Alysson Bessani, Joni Fraga, Miguel Correia, “Evaluating Byzantine Quorum Systems”, in In Proceedings of the 28th IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS). October 2007., Oct. 2007.

  • Paulo Verissimo, “Assumptions: The Trojan Horses of Secure Protocols”, in In V. Gorodetsky, I. Kotenko, and V.A. Skormin (Eds.): "Mathematical Methods, Models and Architectures for Computer Networks Security" (MMM-ACNS) 2007, CCIS 1, pp. 34-41, 2007. Springer-Verlag., Sept. 2007.

  • Alysson Bessani, Paulo Sousa, Miguel Correia, Nuno Ferreira Neves, Paulo Verissimo, “Intrusion-Tolerant Protection for Critical Infrastructures”, Missing institution, Tech. Rep., Apr. 2007. Technical Report DI/FCUL TR-07-8. Department of Computer Science, University of Lisboa. April 2007.

  • Paulo Sousa, “Proactive Resilience”, in In Sixth European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC-6) Supplemental Volume. Coimbra, Portugal, pages 27-32, October 2006., Oct. 2006.

  • Paulo Verissimo, “Thou Shalt Not Trust non-Trustworthy Systems”, Jul. 2006. Keynote at the Workshop on Assurance in Distributed Systems and Networks (ADSN2006), with the 26th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2006), Lisboa, Portugal, July 2006.

  • Nuno Ferreira Neves, João Antunes, Miguel Correia, Paulo Verissimo, Rui Neves, “Using Attack Injection to Discover New Vulnerabilities”, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), Philadelphia, USA, June 2006., Jun. 2006.

  • Henrique Moniz, Nuno Ferreira Neves, Miguel Correia, Paulo Verissimo, “Randomized Intrusion-Tolerant Asynchronous Services”, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), Philadelphia, USA, pages 568-577, June 2006, Jun. 2006.

  • G. Dondossola, G. Deconinck, F. Di Giandomenico, S. Donatelli, M. Kaaniche, Paulo Verissimo, “Critical Utility Infrastructure Resilience”, in In Workshop on Security and Networking in Critical Real-Time and Embedded Systems (CRTES'06), with RTAS'06, San Jose, California, USA, April 2006., Apr. 2006.


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