Talk by Laura Meroi

© 2023 EPFL

© 2023 EPFL

On Friday, 12/1/24, Laura Meroi will give the talk "Model-based vs data-driven approaches to the detection of cyber-attacks". The seminar will start at 11h00 in ME C2 405. 


Over the past few decades, important innovations in different fields such as aerospace, automotive, energy or healthcare, were made possible by the integration of the physical and digital worlds. However, the proliferation of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) in our daily lives introduces new vulnerabilities and security threats. In response, cyber-security has emerged as a critical challenge that is investigated in this talk. We focus specifically on Networked Control Systems (NCSs) and we analyze them in a scenario in which there are replay attacks threatening their integrity. Among the possible mitigation strategies against this type of cyber-attack, we provide two different approaches to their detection. For the first one we adopt a system-theoretic perspective and implement a detection mechanism based on the knowledge of the system under attack. The resulting anomaly detector, implemented for replay attack detection, is programmed to recognize any behavior of the system that deviates from the expected one. Conversely, the second approach is entirely data-driven, requiring no prior knowledge of the system dynamics. Here we employ for attack detection a machine learning model that is not explicitly programmed but continuously refines its structure by learning essential information from available data sources. Our study culminates in a comprehensive comparative analysis of these two methodologies, assessing their effectiveness in detecting replay attacks.


Laura's academic journey began with a Bachelor degree in Information Engineering at the University of Padova, where she graduated with honors in 2021. Following her interest in control theory, she pursued a master’s degree in Control Systems Engineering (Cum Laude) at the same university, completing her studies in October 2023. During her Master degree, Laura expanded her horizons through international experiences as part of the Erasmus program. She spent a semester at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, and another at the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence at the University of Cyprus (UCY).
She is currently working in an automation company, while looking for research opportunities. Her main research interests include neural networks, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and automatic control.

In her free time, she really enjoys hiking in nature and playing sports