Chapter

Computer Security - ESORICS 2014

Volume 8713 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 494-511

Modeling Network Diversity for Evaluating the Robustness of Networks against Zero-Day Attacks

  • Lingyu WangAffiliated withConcordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University
  • , Mengyuan ZhangAffiliated withConcordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University
  • , Sushil JajodiaAffiliated withCenter for Secure Information Systems, George Mason University
  • , Anoop SinghalAffiliated withComputer Security Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • , Massimiliano AlbaneseAffiliated withCenter for Secure Information Systems, George Mason University

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Abstract

The interest in diversity as a security mechanism has recently been revived in various applications, such as Moving Target Defense (MTD), resisting worms in sensor networks, and improving the robustness of network routing. However, most existing efforts on formally modeling diversity have focused on a single system running diverse software replicas or variants. At a higher abstraction level, as a global property of the entire network, diversity and its impact on security have received limited attention. In this paper, we take the first step towards formally modeling network diversity as a security metric for evaluating the robustness of networks against potential zero day attacks. Specifically, we first devise a biodiversity-inspired metric based on the effective number of distinct resources. We then propose two complementary diversity metrics, based on the least and the average attacking efforts, respectively. Finally, we evaluate our algorithm and metrics through simulation.

Keywords

Security Metrics Diversity Network Security Zero Day Attack Network Robustness