Ort:  Darmstadt
Datum:  21.05.2024

MT/BT: Active Defense and Cyber Resilience Maneuvering for Virtual Power Plants

Die Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (www.fraunhofer.de) betreibt in Deutschland derzeit 76 Institute und Forschungseinrichtungen und ist die weltweit führende Organisation für anwendungsorientierte Forschung. Rund 30 800 Mitarbeitende erarbeiten das jährliche Forschungsvolumen von 3,0 Milliarden Euro.  

The increasing integration of renewable energies and other decentralized energy resources (DER) into the power grid is leading to a growing number of Virtual Power Plants (VPP). These VPPs consist each of networks of decentralized power generation units, flexible power consumers, and storage systems that are aggregated and managed as a single entity to supply power to the grid or specific consumers. In this setting, utilities and VPP operators relies on wide-area communication networks to remotely control a variety of DER such as renewable energy plants and even battery storage systems and inverter-coupled devices including electric vehicles and heat pumps, or to interface or coordinate with each other. Cyber-resilience primary adversary is the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), and one of the cornerstones of cyber-resilience engineering is the acceptance of the assumption that the adversary has infiltrated the system and achieved a persistent presence within it. The conceptual objective is to assure its mission despite the adverse conditions that the APT may cause to the system. Deception technology and adversary engagement are included in the constructs of NIST SP 800-160v2r1, however their practical implementation in decentralized Cyber-physical Systems, such as the VPP, is mostly unknown, especially due to the complexity (i.e., our ability to predict the behavior of the system against a set of conditions) of critical infrastructure systems, and their operation at the edge of chaos.

Furthermore, with the average life span of VPP components ranging in at least 10 years, the current and expected computational capabilities of components, sub-systems, or the VPP as a whole, is limited, making integration of deception technology challenging. However, the strategic asymmetric advantage that deception technology provides may supersede the potential trade-offs; a notion that is put to the question through this thesis research proposal.


We are looking for motivated students who are interested in a challenging master's thesis in the field of cyber resilience of Virtual Power Plants (VPP). This work focuses on the development and evaluation of deception technology, specifically tailored to the needs of a VPP.


Was Du bei uns tust

Potential tasks may include the following:

  • Task 1: **Systematic Literature Review on the applicability of deception technology within the parameters of cyber resilience: ** Conduct a comprehensive literature review to identify existing methods, solutions and implementation approaches of deception technology in Virtual Power Plants with a view of the Goals and Objectives of Cyber-resilience.
  • Task 2: **Evaluate existing deception technology tools and frameworks in their applicability in Virtual Power Plants: ** Investigate and evaluate the state of the art in deception technology in respect to tooling, such as Artillery, Open Canary, and Web Bug Server; frameworks, such as the Harbringer distribution; and prototypes, such as the AHEAD pod prototype. Based on the literature review and evaluation of the tooling, examine the synergies and conflicts of deception technology in the context of the Virtual Power Plant as a Complex System.
  • Task 3: **Design and Implementation of a Cyber-resilience maneuvering strategy:** Based on the findings from Task 1 & Task 2, design a cyber-resilience maneuvering strategy, which may be based on Non-persistence, examine the Game-Theoretic aspects of optimal deception technology usage, especially with respect to its diminishing returns, and implement the strategy in a simulation environment.
  • Task 4: **Evaluation: ** Evaluate the usefulness, effectiveness and usability of the developed strategy. Furthermore, you are expected to subsequently analyze the results of the evaluation studies and derive well-founded recommendations for the further development and optimization of deception technology in the context of Virtual Power Plants. Consider technical improvement opportunities to further strengthen the cyber resilience of VPPs through cyber-resilience maneuvering.


Was Du mitbringst

  • You are studying Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or a comparable subject
  • Interest in current developments in the field of cyber resilience.
  • Knowledge in the fields of energy systems and software development is advantageous.
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research: Cyber security engineering; Human factors in security and privacy; Usable security and privacy
  • A high degree of initiative and team spirit
  • Good language skills in German or English


Was Du erwarten kannst

  • Professional supervision and collaboration in a dedicated team
  • Ideal conditions for practical experience alongside your studies


Wir wertschätzen und fördern die Vielfalt der Kompetenzen unserer Mitarbeitenden und begrüßen daher alle Bewerbungen – unabhängig von Alter, Geschlecht, Nationalität, ethnischer und sozialer Herkunft, Religion, Weltanschauung, Behinderung sowie sexueller Orientierung und Identität. Schwerbehinderte Menschen werden bei gleicher Eignung bevorzugt eingestellt.

Die wöchentliche Arbeitszeit beträgt 39 Stunden. Die Stelle kann auch in Teilzeit besetzt werden. 

Mit ihrer Fokussierung auf zukunftsrelevante Schlüsseltechnologien sowie auf die Verwertung der Ergebnisse in Wirtschaft und Industrie spielt die Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft eine zentrale Rolle im Innovationsprozess. Als Wegweiser und Impulsgeber für innovative Entwicklungen und wissenschaftliche Exzellenz wirkt sie mit an der Gestaltung unserer Gesellschaft und unserer Zukunft. 

Haben wir Dein Interesse geweckt? Dann bewirb Dich jetzt online mit Deinen aussagekräftigen Bewerbungsunterlagen. Wir freuen uns darauf, Dich kennenzulernen! 


Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT 


Kennziffer: 73862                Bewerbungsfrist: 


Stellensegment: Cyber Security, Electrical Engineering, Power Plant, Computer Science, Electrical, Security, Energy, Engineering, Technology