Visible to the public Designing Mission Survivable Systems Using Proactive Schemes


A rapid increase in the structural complexity of today's mission-critical systems not only leads to an increase in benign faults but opens doors to malicious entities. Over the years, malicious entities in cyber-space have grown smarter and resourceful. The conventional three- layer fault tolerance - prevention, detection and recovery, can be broken by staging smart attacks on the final phase, viz. recovery, leaving no fallback option for the system to rebound. Therefore, new schemes of mission-survivability to fulfill a system's mission in a timely manner become a growingly important necessity. This proposal is aimed at developing novel proactive schemes to make the recovery layer attack-tolerant. The main idea is to first model the smart attacks and tackle them by a novel deception-based proactive recovery scheme and then generalize it through a game theoretic formulation for enhanced protection. Results from our preliminary research are promising with low time and performance overhead.

The following tasks will be investigated. (1) When smart attacks occur in one dimension, how to monitor and detect signs of intrusion in another dimension? In other words, how to make detection information invisible and inaccessible to the attacker? The initial approach to achieve our goals is to use redundant and unused design for test (DFT) circuitry on the underlying hardware. This scheme will then be extended to a decentralized environment by employing node-to-node verification and trustworthy software systems. (2) How to make the host intrusion detection system tamper-resistant? In other words, "who watches the watcher?" We shall use cyclic monitoring topologies that leverage the parallelism offered by modern multi- core hardware for increased effectiveness. (3) How to make the deception-based recovery scheme implementable in a real-world setting and evaluate its performance. For this, we shall cast the problem in game-theoretic terms and develop several specific games that can provide further insights and recommendations to increase the probability of mission-survivability.

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Designing Mission Survivable Systems Using Proactive Schemes
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