Enhanced cyberspace defense with real-time distributed systems using covert channel publish-subscribe broker pattern communications
Paxton, Steven G. B.
Michael, James B.
Dinolt, George W.
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In this thesis, we propose a novel cyberspace defense solution to the growing sophistication of threats facing networks within the Department of Defense. Current network defense strategies, including traditional intrusion detection and firewall-based perimeter defenses, are ineffective against increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks such as spear-phishing which exploit individuals with targeted information. These asymmetric attacks are able to bypass current network defense technologies allowing adversaries extended and often unrestricted access to portions of the enterprise. Network defense strategies are hampered by solutions favoring network-centric designs which disregard the security requirements of the specific data and information on the networks. Our solution leverages specific technology characteristics from traditional network defense systems and real-time distributed systems using publish-subscribe broker patterns to form the foundation of a full-spectrum cyber operations capability. Building on this foundation, we present the addition of covert channel communications within the distributed systems framework to protect sensitive Command and Control and Battle Management messaging from adversary intercept and exploitation. Through this combined approach, DoD and Service network defense professionals will be able to meet sophisticated cyberspace threats head-on while simultaneously protecting the data and information critical to warfighting Commands, Services and Agencies.
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