Visible to the public Biblio

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Laszka, A., Abbas, W., Vorobeychik, Y., Koutsoukos, X..  2018.  Synergistic Security for the Industrial Internet of Things: Integrating Redundancy, Diversity, and Hardening. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Internet (ICII). :153–158.
As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIot) becomes more prevalent in critical application domains, ensuring security and resilience in the face of cyber-attacks is becoming an issue of paramount importance. Cyber-attacks against critical infrastructures, for example, against smart water-distribution and transportation systems, pose serious threats to public health and safety. Owing to the severity of these threats, a variety of security techniques are available. However, no single technique can address the whole spectrum of cyber-attacks that may be launched by a determined and resourceful attacker. In light of this, we consider a multi-pronged approach for designing secure and resilient IIoT systems, which integrates redundancy, diversity, and hardening techniques. We introduce a framework for quantifying cyber-security risks and optimizing IIoT design by determining security investments in redundancy, diversity, and hardening. To demonstrate the applicability of our framework, we present a case study in water-distribution systems. Our numerical evaluation shows that integrating redundancy, diversity, and hardening can lead to reduced security risk at the same cost.
Abbas, W., Laszka, A., Vorobeychik, Y., Koutsoukos, X..  2017.  Improving network connectivity using trusted nodes and edges. 2017 American Control Conference (ACC). :328–333.

Network connectivity is a primary attribute and a characteristic phenomenon of any networked system. A high connectivity is often desired within networks; for instance to increase robustness to failures, and resilience against attacks. A typical approach to increasing network connectivity is to strategically add links; however adding links is not always the most suitable option. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach to improving network connectivity, that is by making a small subset of nodes and edges “trusted,” which means that such nodes and edges remain intact at all times and are insusceptible to failures. We then show that by controlling the number of trusted nodes and edges, any desired level of network connectivity can be obtained. Along with characterizing network connectivity with trusted nodes and edges, we present heuristics to compute a small number of such nodes and edges. Finally, we illustrate our results on various networks.

Smith, A. M., Mayo, J. R., Kammler, V., Armstrong, R. C., Vorobeychik, Y..  2017.  Using computational game theory to guide verification and security in hardware designs. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST). :110–115.

Verifying that hardware design implementations adhere to specifications is a time intensive and sometimes intractable problem due to the massive size of the system's state space. Formal methods techniques can be used to prove certain tractable specification properties; however, they are expensive, and often require subject matter experts to develop and solve. Nonetheless, hardware verification is a critical process to ensure security and safety properties are met, and encapsulates problems associated with trust and reliability. For complex designs where coverage of the entire state space is unattainable, prioritizing regions most vulnerable to security or reliability threats would allow efficient allocation of valuable verification resources. Stackelberg security games model interactions between a defender, whose goal is to assign resources to protect a set of targets, and an attacker, who aims to inflict maximum damage on the targets after first observing the defender's strategy. In equilibrium, the defender has an optimal security deployment strategy, given the attacker's best response. We apply this Stackelberg security framework to synthesized hardware implementations using the design's network structure and logic to inform defender valuations and verification costs. The defender's strategy in equilibrium is thus interpreted as a prioritization of the allocation of verification resources in the presence of an adversary. We demonstrate this technique on several open-source synthesized hardware designs.