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Wilkens, F., Fischer, M..  2020.  Towards Data-Driven Characterization of Brute-Force Attackers. 2020 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS). :1—9.

Brute-force login attempts are common for every host on the public Internet. While most of them can be discarded as low-threat attacks, targeted attack campaigns often use a dictionary-based brute-force attack to establish a foothold in the network. Therefore, it is important to characterize the attackers' behavior to prioritize defensive measures and react to new threats quickly. In this paper we present a set of metrics that can support threat hunters in characterizing brute-force login attempts. Based on connection metadata, timing information, and the attacker's dictionary these metrics can help to differentiate scans and to find common behavior across distinct IP addresses. We evaluated our novel metrics on a real-world data set of malicious login attempts collected by our honeypot Honeygrove. We highlight interesting metrics, show how clustering can be leveraged to reveal common behavior across IP addresses, and describe how selected metrics help to assess the threat level of attackers. Amongst others, we for example found strong indicators for collusion between ten otherwise unrelated IP addresses confirming that a clustering of the right metrics can help to reveal coordinated attacks.

Niu, L., Ramasubramanian, B., Clark, A., Bushnell, L., Poovendran, R..  2020.  Control Synthesis for Cyber-Physical Systems to Satisfy Metric Interval Temporal Logic Objectives under Timing and Actuator Attacks*. 2020 ACM/IEEE 11th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS). :162–173.
This paper studies the synthesis of controllers for cyber-physical systems (CPSs) that are required to carry out complex tasks that are time-sensitive, in the presence of an adversary. The task is specified as a formula in metric interval temporal logic (MITL). The adversary is assumed to have the ability to tamper with the control input to the CPS and also manipulate timing information perceived by the CPS. In order to model the interaction between the CPS and the adversary, and also the effect of these two classes of attacks, we define an entity called a durational stochastic game (DSG). DSGs probabilistically capture transitions between states in the environment, and also the time taken for these transitions. With the policy of the defender represented as a finite state controller (FSC), we present a value-iteration based algorithm that computes an FSC that maximizes the probability of satisfying the MITL specification under the two classes of attacks. A numerical case-study on a signalized traffic network is presented to illustrate our results.
Fawaz, A. M., Noureddine, M. A., Sanders, W. H..  2018.  POWERALERT: Integrity Checking Using Power Measurement and a Game-Theoretic Strategy. 2018 48th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN). :514–525.
We propose POWERALERT, an efficient external integrity checker for untrusted hosts. Current attestation systems suffer from shortcomings, including requiring a complete checksum of the code segment, from being static, use of timing information sourced from the untrusted machine, or using imprecise timing information such as network round-trip time. We address those shortcomings by (1) using power measurements from the host to ensure that the checking code is executed and (2) checking a subset of the kernel space over an extended period. We compare the power measurement against a learned power model of the execution of the machine and validate that the execution was not tampered. Finally, POWERALERT randomizes the integrity checking program to prevent the attacker from adapting. We model the interaction between POWERALERT and an attacker as a time-continuous game. The Nash equilibrium strategy of the game shows that POWERALERT has two optimal strategy choices: (1) aggressive checking that forces the attacker into hiding, or (2) slow checking that minimizes cost. We implement a prototype of POWERALERT using Raspberry Pi and evaluate the performance of the integrity checking program generation.