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Security in Cyber-Physical Networked Systems


OBJECTIVE: Investigate challenging security issues in Cyber-Physical Networked Systems. DESCRIPTION: A cyber-physical system (CPS) is a system featuring a tight combination of, and coordination between, the system"s computational and physical elements. Today, a pre-cursor generation of cyber-physical systems can be found in areas as diverse as emerging and future combat systems, air-space-cyber activities, as well as smart buildings, bridges and other structures. To interact with physical system, the geographically distributed sensors, actuators, and controllers are interconnected via the communication networks. In particular, sensor nodes obtain the measurements from physical world and send data to the controller through computer networks. The controller then obtains the states of physical systems and sends control commands to the actuators to adjust it operation. Before CPS can be used, the security of CPS must be fully understood and addressed. There are a few challenges. First, the military CPS may operate in hostile environments. The sensor and actors lacking tamper-resistance hardware may increase the possibility to be compromised and further disrupt the mission of CPS. Second, the next generation CPS must interwork with existing physical infrastructure, which are composed a large number of legacy devices. Those legacy devices were developed many years ago and do not have appropriate security mechanisms in place. Third, the next generation CPS generally demands high performance guarantee with real-time requirements to enable operation stability. Hence, design and development of effective and low cost defensive mechanisms to detect and localize malicious devices become critical issues in CPS. PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate threat models for a selected CPS. Investigate associated vulnerabilities and impact to the CPS operations. Develop defensive algorithms that automatically assess emergent situations of the large-scale cyber networks and mitigate potential impact of attacks (including stealthy attacks) in CPS of choice. Proof-of-feasibility demonstration enables the concepts. PHASE II: Refine the technical assumptions and proof-of-concept. Develop, demonstrate, and validate a prototype that implements the Phase I findings. Identify appropriate performance metrics for extensive evaluation. PHASE III: Secure CPS will be indispensable to DoD network centric warfare and mission assurance. This technology will provide foundations to build more secure systems in areas of autonomous space, air and ground systems as well as smart grids, intelligent transportation systems, health care and robotics. REFERENCES: 1. Lee, Edward (January 23, 2008). Cyber Physical Systems: Design Challenges. 2."NSF Workshop On Cyber-Physical Systems". 3."Beyond SCADA: Networked Embedded Control for Cyber Physical Systems".
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