Impact Evaluation of Falsified Data Attacks on Connected Vehicle Based Traffic Signal Control Systems

Shihong Huang (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Yiheng Feng (Purdue University), Wai Wong (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Qi Alfred Chen (UC Irvine), Z. Morley Mao and Henry X. Liu (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Connected vehicle (CV) technologies enable data exchange between vehicles and transportation infrastructure. In a CV environment, traffic signal control systems receive CV trajectory data through vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications to make control decisions. Comparing with existing data collection methods (e.g., from loop-detectors), the CV trajectory data provide much richer information, and therefore have great potentials to improve the system performance by reducing total vehicle delay at signalized intersections. However, this connectivity might also bring cyber security concerns.

In this paper, we aim to investigate the security problem of CV-based traffic signal control (CV-TSC) systems. Specifically, we focus on evaluating the impact of falsified data attacks on the system performance. A black-box attack scenario, in which the control logic of a CV-TSC system is unavailable to attackers, is considered. A two-step attack model is constructed. In the first step, the attacker tries to learn the control logic using a surrogate model. Based on the surrogate model, in the second step, the attacker launches falsified data attacks to influence the control systems to make sub-optimal control decisions. In the case study, we apply the attack model to an existing CV-TSC system (i.e., I-SIG) and find intersection delay can be significantly increased. Finally, we discuss some promising defense directions.