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New Contests at PHDays VI: Hacking Power Facilities and Smart Homes

  • April 12, 2016

    The PHDays competitions have always featured cutting edge challenges, testing the skills of participants. Hackers have been challenged to break into electrical substations, mobile communication systems and online banking systems, to throw a missile off course, steal money from an ATM, and derail trains.

    This year, the competitions revolve around the infrastructure of the city of CityF. Competitors will hack SCADA systems, the IoT, online banks, GSM and network equipment. All details are provided on the contests page of the forum. We have also prepared two very exciting new competitions — BMS & Smart House Attack and Critical Infrastructure Attack: Blackout described below.

    PHDays VI CityF will feature an electricity company (distribution and transmission substations, a hydroelectric power plant, central and regional control centers) and smart home. Participants will compete to test the safety of real systems individually or as part of a CityF team.

    Critical Infrastructure Attack: Blackout

    Hackers are challenged to attack a model of a regional power supply system. The model is similar to the systems used to power a city both technically and functionally. It is divided into several parts including power supply generation, transmission, distribution, and management. Participants will try to disrupt the normal operation of the system.

    Contestants will work with a substation of a 10 kV voltage class that distributes electricity to the city’s infrastructure facilities (houses, industrial enterprises). The competition will include a model of a house connected to many vital service systems.

    Competitors will try to capture the transmission substation (500kV) and disrupt its operation to generate a local blackout or even “switch off” the whole city.

    They will also attempt to take control of a hydroelectric plant, including disabling electricity transmission from the plant or affecting the operation of automatic hydraulic units and the power plant control system (turning on the emergency spillway and flooding the city).

    Hackers will have an opportunity to access a regional power dispatching system and a central control room to be able to monitor all the systems and manage this energy area.

    The winner will receive an Apple iPad, and the second-place winner will receive a Raspberry Pi 2 Kit.

    BMS & Smart House Attack

    Hackers will attempt to take control over vital service systems that range from a central electricity distribution system to a simple socket in a house.

    The model is a hybrid of building automation and smart home systems including lighting systems, water meters, elevators, and ventilation. The challenge is to gain control of individual systems or disable them. The task is complicated by the fact that the power supply of the house depends on the city’s distribution substation, which needs to be attacked as well.

    The winners will receive prizes from our partners Advantech and ProSoft — providers of the model and automation systems.

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