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P. Hu, H. Li, H. Fu, D. Cansever, P. Mohapatra.  2015.  "Dynamic defense strategy against advanced persistent threat with insiders". 2015 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM). :747-755.

The landscape of cyber security has been reformed dramatically by the recently emerging Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). It is uniquely featured by the stealthy, continuous, sophisticated and well-funded attack process for long-term malicious gain, which render the current defense mechanisms inapplicable. A novel design of defense strategy, continuously combating APT in a long time-span with imperfect/incomplete information on attacker's actions, is urgently needed. The challenge is even more escalated when APT is coupled with the insider threat (a major threat in cyber-security), where insiders could trade valuable information to APT attacker for monetary gains. The interplay among the defender, APT attacker and insiders should be judiciously studied to shed insights on a more secure defense system. In this paper, we consider the joint threats from APT attacker and the insiders, and characterize the fore-mentioned interplay as a two-layer game model, i.e., a defense/attack game between defender and APT attacker and an information-trading game among insiders. Through rigorous analysis, we identify the best response strategies for each player and prove the existence of Nash Equilibrium for both games. Extensive numerical study further verifies our analytic results and examines the impact of different system configurations on the achievable security level.

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X. Feng, Z. Zheng, P. Hu, D. Cansever, P. Mohapatra.  2015.  "Stealthy attacks meets insider threats: A three-player game model". MILCOM 2015 - 2015 IEEE Military Communications Conference. :25-30.

Advanced persistent threat (APT) is becoming a major threat to cyber security. As APT attacks are often launched by well funded entities that are persistent and stealthy in achieving their goals, they are highly challenging to combat in a cost-effective way. The situation becomes even worse when a sophisticated attacker is further assisted by an insider with privileged access to the inside information. Although stealthy attacks and insider threats have been considered separately in previous works, the coupling of the two is not well understood. As both types of threats are incentive driven, game theory provides a proper tool to understand the fundamental tradeoffs involved. In this paper, we propose the first three-player attacker-defender-insider game to model the strategic interactions among the three parties. Our game extends the two-player FlipIt game model for stealthy takeover by introducing an insider that can trade information to the attacker for a profit. We characterize the subgame perfect equilibria of the game with the defender as the leader and the attacker and the insider as the followers, under two different information trading processes. We make various observations and discuss approaches for achieving more efficient defense in the face of both APT and insider threats.