Visible to the public Biblio

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Conference Paper
Cao, Phuong, Badger, Eric C., Kalbarczyk, Zbigniew T., Iyer, Ravishankar K..  2016.  A Framework for Generation, Replay, and Analysis of Real-world Attack Variants. Proceedings of the Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :28–37.

This paper presents a framework for (1) generating variants of known attacks, (2) replaying attack variants in an isolated environment and, (3) validating detection capabilities of attack detection techniques against the variants. Our framework facilitates reproducible security experiments. We generated 648 variants of three real-world attacks (observed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois). Our experiment showed the value of generating attack variants by quantifying the detection capabilities of three detection methods: a signature-based detection technique, an anomaly-based detection technique, and a probabilistic graphical model-based technique.

Ghosh, Uttam, Dong, Xinshu, Tan, Rui, Kalbarczyk, Zbigniew, Yau, David K.Y., Iyer, Ravishankar K..  2016.  A Simulation Study on Smart Grid Resilience Under Software-Defined Networking Controller Failures. Proceedings of the 2Nd ACM International Workshop on Cyber-Physical System Security. :52–58.

Riding on the success of SDN for enterprise and data center networks, recently researchers have shown much interest in applying SDN for critical infrastructures. A key concern, however, is the vulnerability of the SDN controller as a single point of failure. In this paper, we develop a cyber-physical simulation platform that interconnects Mininet (an SDN emulator), hardware SDN switches, and PowerWorld (a high-fidelity, industry-strength power grid simulator). We report initial experiments on how a number of representative controller faults may impact the delay of smart grid communications. We further evaluate how this delay may affect the performance of the underlying physical system, namely automatic gain control (AGC) as a fundamental closed-loop control that regulates the grid frequency to a critical nominal value. Our results show that when the fault-induced delay reaches seconds (e.g., more than four seconds in some of our experiments), degradation of the AGC becomes evident. Particularly, the AGC is most vulnerable when it is in a transient following say step changes in loading, because the significant state fluctuations will exacerbate the effects of using a stale system state in the control.