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Sahabandu, Dinuka, Moothedath, Shana, Bushnell, Linda, Poovendran, Radha, Aller, Joey, Lee, Wenke, Clark, Andrew.  2019.  A Game Theoretic Approach for Dynamic Information Flow Tracking with Conditional Branching. 2019 American Control Conference (ACC). :2289–2296.
In this paper, we study system security against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). APTs are stealthy and persistent but APTs interact with system and introduce information flows in the system as data-flow and control-flow commands. Dynamic Information Flow Tracking (DIFT) is a promising detection mechanism against APTs which taints suspicious input sources in the system and performs online security analysis when a tainted information is used in unauthorized manner. Our objective in this paper is to model DIFT that handle data-flow and conditional branches in the program that arise from control-flow commands. We use game theoretic framework and provide the first analytical model of DIFT with data-flow and conditional-branch tracking. Our game model which is an undiscounted infinite-horizon stochastic game captures the interaction between APTs and DIFT and the notion of conditional branching. We prove that the best response of the APT is a maximal reachability probability problem and provide a polynomial-time algorithm to find the best response by solving a linear optimization problem. We formulate the best response of the defense as a linear optimization problem and show that an optimal solution to the linear program returns a deterministic optimal policy for the defense. Since finding Nash equilibrium for infinite-horizon undiscounted stochastic games is computationally difficult, we present a nonlinear programming based polynomial-time algorithm to find an E-Nash equilibrium. Finally, we perform experimental analysis of our algorithm on real-world data for NetRecon attack augmented with conditional branching.