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Cyber-physical systems (AMICI)


Today's Critical Infrastructures (CIs) exhibit strong interdependencies, e.g., railroads depend on the electrical power supply. In fact, in many cases relationships are bidirectional and the successful functioning of one CI might depend on an entire chain of interdependent CIs. Consequently, the complexity and the need to understand these interdependent systems requires unique techniques that take into account the cyber and physical dimensions of modern Critical Infrastructures. This has been highlighted at a national and international level as a major requirement for the development of novel cyber security solutions that will strengthen future CIs such as the emerging Smart Grid.

AMICI, the Assessment platform for Multiple Interdependent Critical Infrastructures, has been developed by the JRC in order to aid researchers and engineers in the implementation of cyber-physical security experiments involving complex interdependent CIs. The software modules of AMICI enable real-time execution of physical process models developed in Matlab Simulink, which can interact with real cyber systems, e.g., ad-hoc software or even real malware. Since 2011, AMICI was used in several experiments covering simulated physical models from a wide range of domains, e.g., power generation, power transmission, railway transportation, chemical processes. AMICI includes two main software units that have been developed in C# (Windows) and have been ported on Unix-based systems with the help of the Mono platform. AMICI has been primarily tested in FreeBSD-based systems.

AMICI addresses limitations such as:

  • the inability to experiment with production systems of CI e.g. lack of control and risks;
  • the cost and safety risks when experimenting with physical processes e.g. gas turbines;
  • software simulation inability to capture the way computer systems and networks fail;

AMICI can be used to:

  1. assess the propagation of cyber disruptions on the normal functioning of CIs;
  2. validate novel (security) techniques, e.g., software and protocols, specifically designed for multiple interdependent CIs;
  3. implement more complex preparedness exercises and operator training scenarios, in which the effect of players’ actions is translated in real-time to effects in the physical dimension of CIs.

The following downloads are available for AMICI:

  • General concept of cyber-physical experimentation (Poster);
  • Overview of typical experiments conducted with AMICI (Poster);
  • Denial of Service attack implementation and analysis with real control hardware and software (Demo video);
  • Recreating physical attacks (remote load control) on the electrical grid including the IEEE 30-bus model with six power generators (Demo video);
  • Example of interdependency studies involving a power grid model (IEEE 30-bus) and a railway transportation model with 10 trains (Demo video);
  • ICT and power grid interdependency study involving an MPLS network and the IEEE 39-bus power grid model (Demo video).

AMICI is free, open-source and licensed under the EUPL v1.1. In order to download it please visit