Visible to the public EAGER: Toward Automated Integration of Moving Target Defense TechniquesConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Oct 01, 2013 - Sep 30, 2016


University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Award Number

Outcomes Report URL

Moving Target defense (MTD) is a new Cybersecurity paradigm for deterring and disturbing attacks proactively in order to counter the ?asymmetry? phenomena in cyber warfare. A number of moving target techniques have been recently proposed to inverse this asymmetry by randomizing systems? attributes (e.g., configuration) and exhibiting non-determinism to attackers. However, due to potential inter-dependency between various MTD mechanisms, an ad hoc combination of MTD techniques can cause profoundly detrimental effect on security, performance and the operational integrity of the system.

This project is investigating novel and transformative approaches to formulate a prescriptive framework to instantiate new MTD strategies that are correct-by-construction, from an arbitrary list of MTD mechanisms. The proposed framework enables integrating MTD mechanisms vertically, or horizontally, while balancing the benefit and cost of the synthesized integrated MTD strategy. As a case study, two main classes of MTD mechanisms, namely, Host Configuration Mutation and Network Configuration Mutation, are integrated to create a cohesive and more powerful composite MTD mechanism.

To this end, the results of this research enable new theoretical foundations and transformative approaches in the science of moving target defense by contributing to the understanding of automated reasoning for moving target defense synthesis and evaluation. As this far-forward looking EAGER proposal exhibits high-risk, it also entails high-value that is to be always many steps ahead of attackers. Through the development of a framework for reasoning about MTD, MTD course modules will be developed. The software artifacts permit for further experimentation and progress in this area.