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2020-07-10
Javed Butt, Usman, Abbod, Maysam, Lors, Anzor, Jahankhani, Hamid, Jamal, Arshad, Kumar, Arvind.  2019.  Ransomware Threat and its Impact on SCADA. 2019 IEEE 12th International Conference on Global Security, Safety and Sustainability (ICGS3). :205—212.
Modern cybercrimes have exponentially grown over the last one decade. Ransomware is one of the types of malware which is the result of sophisticated attempt to compromise the modern computer systems. The governments and large corporations are investing heavily to combat this cyber threat against their critical infrastructure. It has been observed that over the last few years that Industrial Control Systems (ICS) have become the main target of Ransomware due to the sensitive operations involved in the day to day processes of these industries. As the technology is evolving, more and more traditional industrial systems are replaced with advanced industry methods involving advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT). These technology shift help improve business productivity and keep the company's global competitive in an overflowing competitive market. However, the systems involved need secure measures to protect integrity and availability which will help avoid any malfunctioning to their operations due to the cyber-attacks. There have been several cyber-attack incidents on healthcare, pharmaceutical, water cleaning and energy sector. These ICS' s are operated by remote control facilities and variety of other devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLC) and sensors to make a network. Cyber criminals are exploring vulnerabilities in the design of these ICS's to take the command and control of these systems and disrupt daily operations until ransomware is paid. This paper will provide critical analysis of the impact of Ransomware threat on SCADA systems.
2020-07-06
Mikhalevich, I. F., Trapeznikov, V. A..  2019.  Critical Infrastructure Security: Alignment of Views. 2019 Systems of Signals Generating and Processing in the Field of on Board Communications. :1–5.
Critical infrastructures of all countries unites common cyberspace. In this space, there are many threats that can disrupt the security of critical infrastructure in one country, but also cause damage in other countries. This is a reality that makes it necessary to agree on intergovernmental national views on the composition of critical infrastructures, an assessment of their security and protection. The article presents an overview of views on critical infrastructures of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation, the purpose of which is to develop common positions.
Mao, Zhong, Yan, Yujie, Wu, Jiahao, Hajjar, Jerome F., Padir, Taskin.  2019.  Automated Damage Assessment of Critical Infrastructure Using Online Mapping Technique with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST). :1–5.
Rapid inspection and assessment of critical infrastructure after man-made and natural disasters is a matter of homeland security. The primary aim of this paper is to demonstrate the potential of leveraging small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) in support of the rapid recovery of critical infrastructure in the aftermath of catastrophic events. We propose our data collection, detection and assessment system, using a sUAS equipped with a Lidar and a camera. This method provides a solution in fast post-disaster response and assists human responders in damage investigation.
2020-05-04
Chaisuriya, Sarayut, Keretho, Somnuk, Sanguanpong, Surasak, Praneetpolgrang, Prasong.  2018.  A Security Architecture Framework for Critical Infrastructure with Ring-based Nested Network Zones. 2018 10th International Conference on Knowledge and Smart Technology (KST). :248–253.
The defense-in-depth approach has been widely recommended for designing critical information infrastructure, however, the lack of holistic design guidelines makes it difficult for many organizations to adopt the concept. Therefore, this paper proposes a holistic architectural framework and guidelines based on ring-based nested network zones for designing such highly secured information systems. This novel security architectural framework and guidelines offer the overall structural design and implementation options for holistically designing the N-tier/shared nothing system architectures. The implementation options, e.g. for the zone's perimeters, are recommended to achieve different capability levels of security or to trade off among different required security attributes. This framework enables the adaptive capability suitable for different real-world contexts. This paper also proposes an attack-hops verification approach as a tool to evaluate the architectural design.
2020-04-13
O’Raw, John, Laverty, David, Morrow, D. John.  2019.  Securing the Industrial Internet of Things for Critical Infrastructure (IIoT-CI). 2019 IEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things (WF-IoT). :70–75.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a term applied to the industrial application of M2M devices. The security of IIoT devices is a difficult problem and where the automation of critical infrastructure is intended, risks may be unacceptable. Remote attacks are a significant threat and solutions are sought which are secure by default. The problem space may be analyzed using threat modelling methods. Software Defined Networks (SDN) provide mitigation for remote attacks which exploit local area networks. Similar concepts applied to the WAN may improve availability and performance and provide granular data on link characteristics. Schemes such as the Software Defined Perimeter allow IIoT devices to communicate on the Internet, mitigating avenues of remote attack. Finally, separation of duties at the IIoT device may prevent attacks on the integrity of the device or the confidentiality and integrity of its communications. Work remains to be done on the mitigation of DDoS.
2020-04-06
Kumar, Rakesh, Babu, Vignesh, Nicol, David.  2018.  Network Coding for Critical Infrastructure Networks. 2018 IEEE 26th International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP). :436–437.
The applications in the critical infrastructure systems pose simultaneous resilience and performance requirements to the underlying computer network. To meet such requirements, the networks that use the store-and-forward paradigm poses stringent conditions on the redundancy in the network topology and results in problems that becoming computationally challenging to solve at scale. However, with the advent of programmable data-planes, it is now possible to use linear network coding (NC) at the intermediate network nodes to meet resilience requirements of the applications. To that end, we propose an architecture that realizes linear NC in programmable networks by decomposing the linear NC functions into the atomic coding primitives. We designed and implemented the primitives using the features offered by the P4 ecosystem. Using an empirical evaluation, we show that the theoretical gains promised by linear network coding can be realized with a per-packet processing cost.
2020-03-16
Mercaldo, Francesco, Martinelli, Fabio, Santone, Antonella.  2019.  Real-Time SCADA Attack Detection by Means of Formal Methods. 2019 IEEE 28th International Conference on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE). :231–236.
SCADA control systems use programmable logic controller to interface with critical machines. SCADA systems are used in critical infrastructures, for instance, to control smart grid, oil pipelines, water distribution and chemical manufacturing plants: an attacker taking control of a SCADA system could cause various damages, both to the infrastructure but also to people (for instance, adding chemical substances into a water distribution systems). In this paper we propose a method to detect attacks targeting SCADA systems. We exploit model checking, in detail we model logs from SCADA systems into a network of timed automata and, through timed temporal logic, we characterize the behaviour of a SCADA system under attack. Experiments performed on a SCADA water distribution system confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed method.
2020-02-17
Aranha, Helder, Masi, Massimiliano, Pavleska, Tanja, Sellitto, Giovanni Paolo.  2019.  Enabling Security-by-Design in Smart Grids: An Architecture-Based Approach. 2019 15th European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC). :177–179.
Energy Distribution Grids are considered critical infrastructure, hence the Distribution System Operators (DSOs) have developed sophisticated engineering practices to improve their resilience. Over the last years, due to the "Smart Grid" evolution, this infrastructure has become a distributed system where prosumers (the consumers who produce and share surplus energy through the grid) can plug in distributed energy resources (DERs) and manage a bi-directional flow of data and power enabled by an advanced IT and control infrastructure. This introduces new challenges, as the prosumers possess neither the skills nor the knowledge to assess the risk or secure the environment from cyber-threats. We propose a simple and usable approach based on the Reference Model of Information Assurance & Security (RMIAS), to support the prosumers in the selection of cybesecurity measures. The purpose is to reduce the risk of being directly targeted and to establish collective responsibility among prosumers as grid gatekeepers. The framework moves from a simple risk analysis based on security goals to providing guidelines for the users for adoption of adequate security countermeasures. One of the greatest advantages of the approach is that it does not constrain the user to a specific threat model.
2020-01-21
Ikany, Joris, Jazri, Husin.  2019.  A Symptomatic Framework to Predict the Risk of Insider Threats. 2019 International Conference on Advances in Big Data, Computing and Data Communication Systems (icABCD). :1–5.
The constant changing of technologies have brought to critical infrastructure organisations numerous information security threats such as insider threat. Critical infrastructure organisations have difficulties to early detect and capture the possible vital signs of insider threats due sometimes to lack of effective methodologies or frameworks. It is from this viewpoint that, this paper proposes a symptomatic insider threat risk assessments framework known as Insider Threat Framework for Namibia Critical Infrastructure Organization (ITFNACIO), aimed to predict the probable signs of insider threat based on Symptomatic Analysis (SA), and develop a prototype as a proof of concept. A case study was successfully used to validate and implement the proposed framework; hence, qualitative methodology was employed throughout the whole research process where two (2) insider threats were captured. The proposed insider threat framework can be further developed in multiple cases and a more automated system able to trigger an early warning system of possible insider threat events.
2019-12-02
Ibarra, Jaime, Javed Butt, Usman, Do, Anh, Jahankhani, Hamid, Jamal, Arshad.  2019.  Ransomware Impact to SCADA Systems and its Scope to Critical Infrastructure. 2019 IEEE 12th International Conference on Global Security, Safety and Sustainability (ICGS3). :1–12.
SCADA systems are being constantly migrated to modern information and communication technologies (ICT) -based systems named cyber-physical systems. Unfortunately, this allows attackers to execute exploitation techniques into these architectures. In addition, ransomware insertion is nowadays the most popular attacking vector because it denies the availability of critical files and systems until attackers receive the demanded ransom. In this paper, it is analysed the risk impact of ransomware insertion into SCADA systems and it is suggested countermeasures addressed to the protection of SCADA systems and its components to reduce the impact of ransomware insertion.
2019-09-05
Panfili, M., Giuseppi, A., Fiaschetti, A., Al-Jibreen, H. B., Pietrabissa, A., Priscoli, F. Delli.  2018.  A Game-Theoretical Approach to Cyber-Security of Critical Infrastructures Based on Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning. 2018 26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED). :460-465.

This paper presents a control strategy for Cyber-Physical System defense developed in the framework of the European Project ATENA, that concerns Critical Infrastructure (CI) protection. The aim of the controller is to find the optimal security configuration, in terms of countermeasures to implement, in order to address the system vulnerabilities. The attack/defense problem is modeled as a multi-agent general sum game, where the aim of the defender is to prevent the most damage possible by finding an optimal trade-off between prevention actions and their costs. The problem is solved utilizing Reinforcement Learning and simulation results provide a proof of the proposed concept, showing how the defender of the protected CI is able to minimize the damage caused by his her opponents by finding the Nash equilibrium of the game in the zero-sum variant, and, in a more general scenario, by driving the attacker in the position where the damage she/he can cause to the infrastructure is lower than the cost it has to sustain to enforce her/his attack strategy.

2019-07-01
Kumar, S., Gaur, N., Kumar, A..  2018.  Developing a Secure Cyber Ecosystem for SCADA Architecture. 2018 Second International Conference on Computing Methodologies and Communication (ICCMC). :559–562.

Advent of Cyber has converted the entire World into a Global village. But, due to vurneabilites in SCADA architecture [1] national assests are more prone to cyber attacks.. Cyber invasions have a catastrophic effect in the minds of the civilian population, in terms of states security system. A robust cyber security is need of the hour to protect the critical information infastructrue & critical infrastructure of a country. Here, in this paper we scrutinize cyber terrorism, vurneabilites in SCADA network systems [1], [2] and concept of cyber resilience to combat cyber attacks.

2019-03-28
Husák, Martin, Neshenko, Nataliia, Pour, Morteza Safaei, Bou-Harb, Elias, \v Celeda, Pavel.  2018.  Assessing Internet-Wide Cyber Situational Awareness of Critical Sectors. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. :29:1-29:6.
In this short paper, we take a first step towards empirically assessing Internet-wide malicious activities generated from and targeted towards Internet-scale business sectors (i.e., financial, health, education, etc.) and critical infrastructure (i.e., utilities, manufacturing, government, etc.). Facilitated by an innovative and a collaborative large-scale effort, we have conducted discussions with numerous Internet entities to obtain rare and private information related to allocated IP blocks pertaining to the aforementioned sectors and critical infrastructure. To this end, we employ such information to attribute Internet-scale maliciousness to such sectors and realms, in an attempt to provide an in-depth analysis of the global cyber situational posture. We draw upon close to 16.8 TB of darknet data to infer probing activities (typically generated by malicious/infected hosts) and DDoS backscatter, from which we distill IP addresses of victims. By executing week-long measurements, we observed an alarming number of more than 11,000 probing machines and 300 DDoS attack victims hosted by critical sectors. We also generate rare insights related to the maliciousness of various business sectors, including financial, which typically do not report their hosted and targeted illicit activities for reputation-preservation purposes. While we treat the obtained results with strict confidence due to obvious sensitivity reasons, we postulate that such generated cyber threat intelligence could be shared with sector/critical infrastructure operators, backbone networks and Internet service providers to contribute to the overall threat remediation objective.
Varga, S., Brynielsson, J., Franke, U..  2018.  Information Requirements for National Level Cyber Situational Awareness. 2018 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM). :774-781.

As modern societies become more dependent on IT services, the potential impact both of adversarial cyberattacks and non-adversarial service management mistakes grows. This calls for better cyber situational awareness-decision-makers need to know what is going on. The main focus of this paper is to examine the information elements that need to be collected and included in a common operational picture in order for stakeholders to acquire cyber situational awareness. This problem is addressed through a survey conducted among the participants of a national information assurance exercise conducted in Sweden. Most participants were government officials and employees of commercial companies that operate critical infrastructure. The results give insight into information elements that are perceived as useful, that can be contributed to and required from other organizations, which roles and stakeholders would benefit from certain information, and how the organizations work with creating cyber common operational pictures today. Among findings, it is noteworthy that adversarial behavior is not perceived as interesting, and that the respondents in general focus solely on their own organization.

2019-03-11
Puesche, A., Bothe, D., Niemeyer, M., Sachweh, S., Pohlmann, N., Kunold, I..  2018.  Concept of Smart Building Cyber-physical Systems Including Tamper Resistant Endpoints. 2018 International IEEE Conference and Workshop in Óbuda on Electrical and Power Engineering (CANDO-EPE). :000127–000132.

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) and their Internet of Things (IoT) components are repeatedly subject to various attacks targeting weaknesses in their firmware. For that reason emerges an imminent demand for secure update mechanisms that not only include specific systems but cover all parts of the critical infrastructure. In this paper we introduce a theoretical concept for a secure CPS device update and verification mechanism and provide information on handling hardware-based security incorporating trusted platform modules (TPM) on those CPS devices. We will describe secure communication channels by state of the art technology and also integrity measurement mechanisms to ensure the system is in a known state. In addition, a multi-level fail-over concept is presented, ensuring continuous patching to minimize the necessity of restarting those systems.

2019-02-13
Irmak, E., Erkek, İ.  2018.  An overview of cyber-attack vectors on SCADA systems. 2018 6th International Symposium on Digital Forensic and Security (ISDFS). :1–5.

Most of the countries evaluate their energy networks in terms of national security and define as critical infrastructure. Monitoring and controlling of these systems are generally provided by Industrial Control Systems (ICSs) and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Therefore, this study focuses on the cyber-attack vectors on SCADA systems to research the threats and risks targeting them. For this purpose, TCP/IP based protocols used in SCADA systems have been determined and analyzed at first. Then, the most common cyber-attacks are handled systematically considering hardware-side threats, software-side ones and the threats for communication infrastructures. Finally, some suggestions are given.

2018-09-28
Umer, Muhammad Azmi, Mathur, Aditya, Junejo, Khurum Nazir, Adepu, Sridhar.  2017.  Integrating Design and Data Centric Approaches to Generate Invariants for Distributed Attack Detection. Proceedings of the 2017 Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems Security and PrivaCy. :131–136.
Process anomaly is used for detecting cyber-physical attacks on critical infrastructure such as plants for water treatment and electric power generation. Identification of process anomaly is possible using rules that govern the physical and chemical behavior of the process within a plant. These rules, often referred to as invariants, can be derived either directly from plant design or from the data generated in an operational. However, for operational legacy plants, one might consider a data-centric approach for the derivation of invariants. The study reported here is a comparison of design-centric and data-centric approaches to derive process invariants. The study was conducted using the design of, and the data generated from, an operational water treatment plant. The outcome of the study supports the conjecture that neither approach is adequate in itself, and hence, the two ought to be integrated.
2018-03-05
Sugumar, G., Mathur, A..  2017.  Testing the Effectiveness of Attack Detection Mechanisms in Industrial Control Systems. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security Companion (QRS-C). :138–145.

Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are found in critical infrastructure such as for power generation and water treatment. When security requirements are incorporated into an ICS, one needs to test the additional code and devices added do improve the prevention and detection of cyber attacks. Conducting such tests in legacy systems is a challenge due to the high availability requirement. An approach using Timed Automata (TA) is proposed to overcome this challenge. This approach enables assessment of the effectiveness of an attack detection method based on process invariants. The approach has been demonstrated in a case study on one stage of a 6- stage operational water treatment plant. The model constructed captured the interactions among components in the selected stage. In addition, a set of attacks, attack detection mechanisms, and security specifications were also modeled using TA. These TA models were conjoined into a network and implemented in UPPAAL. The models so implemented were found effective in detecting the attacks considered. The study suggests the use of TA as an effective tool to model an ICS and study its attack detection mechanisms as a complement to doing so in a real plant-operational or under design.

2018-02-02
Härtig, H., Roitzsch, M., Weinhold, C., Lackorzynski, A..  2017.  Lateral Thinking for Trustworthy Apps. 2017 IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). :1890–1899.

The growing computerization of critical infrastructure as well as the pervasiveness of computing in everyday life has led to increased interest in secure application development. We observe a flurry of new security technologies like ARM TrustZone and Intel SGX, but a lack of a corresponding architectural vision. We are convinced that point solutions are not sufficient to address the overall challenge of secure system design. In this paper, we outline our take on a trusted component ecosystem of small individual building blocks with strong isolation. In our view, applications should no longer be designed as massive stacks of vertically layered frameworks, but instead as horizontal aggregates of mutually isolated components that collaborate across machine boundaries to provide a service. Lateral thinking is needed to make secure systems going forward.

2018-01-16
Pappa, A. C., Ashok, A., Govindarasu, M..  2017.  Moving target defense for securing smart grid communications: Architecture, implementation evaluation. 2017 IEEE Power Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT). :1–5.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition(SCADA) communications are often subjected to various sophisticated cyber-attacks mostly because of their static system characteristics, enabling an attacker for easier profiling of the target system(s) and thereby impacting the Critical Infrastructures(CI). In this Paper, a novel approach to mitigate such static vulnerabilities is proposed by implementing a Moving Target Defense (MTD) strategy in a power grid SCADA environment, leveraging the existing communication network with an end-to-end IP-Hopping technique among trusted peers. The main contribution involves the design and implementation of MTD Architecture on Iowa State's PowerCyber testbed for targeted cyber-attacks, without compromising the availability of a SCADA system and studying the delay and throughput characteristics for different hopping rates in a realistic environment. Finally, we study two cases and provide mitigations for potential weaknesses of the proposed mechanism. Also, we propose to incorporate port mutation to further increase attack complexity as part of future work.

Ulrich, J., Drahos, J., Govindarasu, M..  2017.  A symmetric address translation approach for a network layer moving target defense to secure power grid networks. 2017 Resilience Week (RWS). :163–169.

This paper will suggest a robust method for a network layer Moving Target Defense (MTD) using symmetric packet scheduling rules. The MTD is implemented and tested on a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) network testbed. This method is shown to be efficient while providing security benefits to the issues faced by the static nature of SCADA networks. The proposed method is an automated tool that may provide defense in depth when be used in conjunction with other MTDs and traditional security devices.

2017-12-28
Obenshain, D., Tantillo, T., Babay, A., Schultz, J., Newell, A., Hoque, M. E., Amir, Y., Nita-Rotaru, C..  2016.  Practical Intrusion-Tolerant Networks. 2016 IEEE 36th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). :45–56.

As the Internet becomes an important part of the infrastructure our society depends on, it is crucial to construct networks that are able to work even when part of the network is compromised. This paper presents the first practical intrusion-tolerant network service, targeting high-value applications such as monitoring and control of global clouds and management of critical infrastructure for the power grid. We use an overlay approach to leverage the existing IP infrastructure while providing the required resiliency and timeliness. Our solution overcomes malicious attacks and compromises in both the underlying network infrastructure and in the overlay itself. We deploy and evaluate the intrusion-tolerant overlay implementation on a global cloud spanning East Asia, North America, and Europe, and make it publicly available.

2017-11-27
Settanni, G., Shovgenya, Y., Skopik, F., Graf, R., Wurzenberger, M., Fiedler, R..  2016.  Correlating cyber incident information to establish situational awareness in Critical Infrastructures. 2016 14th Annual Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST). :78–81.

Protecting Critical Infrastructures (CIs) against contemporary cyber attacks has become a crucial as well as complex task. Modern attack campaigns, such as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), leverage weaknesses in the organization's business processes and exploit vulnerabilities of several systems to hit their target. Although their life-cycle can last for months, these campaigns typically go undetected until they achieve their goal. They usually aim at performing data exfiltration, cause service disruptions and can also undermine the safety of humans. Novel detection techniques and incident handling approaches are therefore required, to effectively protect CI's networks and timely react to this type of threats. Correlating large amounts of data, collected from a multitude of relevant sources, is necessary and sometimes required by national authorities to establish cyber situational awareness, and allow to promptly adopt suitable countermeasures in case of an attack. In this paper we propose three novel methods for security information correlation designed to discover relevant insights and support the establishment of cyber situational awareness.

2017-09-01
Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Zhiyi Li, Illinois Institute of Technology, Christopher Hannon, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chen Chen, Argonne National Laboratory, Jianhui Wang, Argonne National Laboratory, Mohammad Shahidehpour, Illinois Institute of Technology, Cheol Won Lee, National Research Institute, South Korea.  2017.  Toward a Cyber Resilient and Secure Microgrid Using Software-Defined Networking. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. 8(5)

To build a resilient and secure microgrid in the face of growing cyber-attacks and cyber-mistakes, we present a software-defined networking (SDN)-based communication network architecture for microgrid operations. We leverage the global visibility, direct networking controllability, and programmability offered by SDN to investigate multiple security applications, including self-healing communication network management, real-time and uncertainty-aware communication network verification, and specification-based intrusion detection. We also expand a novel cyber-physical testing and evaluation platform that combines a power distribution system simulator (for microgrid energy services) and an SDN emulator with a distributed control environment (for microgrid communications). Experimental results demonstrate that the SDN-based communication architecture and applications can significantly enhance the resilience and security of microgrid operations against the realization of various cyber threats.

2017-03-07
Macdonald, M., Frank, R., Mei, J., Monk, B..  2015.  Identifying digital threats in a hacker web forum. 2015 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM). :926–933.

Information threatening the security of critical infrastructures are exchanged over the Internet through communication platforms, such as online discussion forums. This information can be used by malicious hackers to attack critical computer networks and data systems. Much of the literature on the hacking of critical infrastructure has focused on developing typologies of cyber-attacks, but has not examined the communication activities of the actors involved. To address this gap in the literature, the language of hackers was analyzed to identify potential threats against critical infrastructures using automated analysis tools. First, discussion posts were collected from a selected hacker forum using a customized web-crawler. Posts were analyzed using a parts of speech tagger, which helped determine a list of keywords used to query the data. Next, a sentiment analysis tool scored these keywords, which were then analyzed to determine the effectiveness of this method.