Visible to the public A Passivity Framework for Modeling and Mitigating Wormhole Attacks on Networked Control Systems

TitleA Passivity Framework for Modeling and Mitigating Wormhole Attacks on Networked Control Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLee, P., Clark, A., Bushnell, L., Poovendran, R.
JournalAutomatic Control, IEEE Transactions on
Date PublishedDec
Keywordscomputer network security, cryptographic mechanisms, cryptography, Cyber-physical systems, delay constraints, delays, network flows, network traffic, networked control systems, packet delays, passivity, passivity framework, Resource management, Routing, Silicon, telecommunication traffic, wireless LAN, wireless network, wireless networks, wormhole attack, wormhole attacks

Networked control systems consist of distributed sensors and actuators that communicate via a wireless network. The use of an open wireless medium and unattended deployment leaves these systems vulnerable to intelligent adversaries whose goal is to disrupt the system performance. In this paper, we study the wormhole attack on a networked control system, in which an adversary establishes a link between two geographically distant regions of the network by using either high-gain antennas, as in the out-of-band wormhole, or colluding network nodes as in the in-band wormhole. Wormholes allow the adversary to violate the timing constraints of real-time control systems by first creating low-latency links, which attract network traffic, and then delaying or dropping packets. Since the wormhole attack reroutes and replays valid messages, it cannot be detected using cryptographic mechanisms alone. We study the impact of the wormhole attack on the network flows and delays and introduce a passivity-based control-theoretic framework for modeling and mitigating the wormhole attack. We develop this framework for both the in-band and out-of-band wormhole attacks as well as complex, hereto-unreported wormhole attacks consisting of arbitrary combinations of in-and out-of band wormholes. By integrating existing mitigation strategies into our framework, we analyze the throughput, delay, and stability properties of the overall system. Through simulation study, we show that, by selectively dropping control packets, the wormhole attack can cause disturbances in the physical plant of a networked control system, and demonstrate that appropriate selection of detection parameters mitigates the disturbances due to the wormhole while satisfying the delay constraints of the physical system.

Citation Key6882790