Developing Simulated Cyber-Attack Scenarios Against Virtualized Adversary Networks

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Authors
Aybar, Luis
Singh, Gurminder
Shaffer, Alan
Subjects
offensive cyber operations
simulated malware
cyber-attack rehearsal
cyber effects development
vlrtuallzed networks
Advisors
Date of Issue
2018-03-08
Date
8-9 March 2018
Publisher
Language
Abstract
Cyberspace Is recognized as a critical domain In modern warfare. The ability of military forces to maintain and secure their own operational networks, while simultaneously degrading or denying the ability of adversaries to operate their networks, ls a critical strategic objective for military planners and leaders. Conducting effective offensive cyber operations (OCO) against sophisticated adversary networks requires the ability to develop, test, and rehearse cyber-attack actions before they are employed operationally. This requirement Is well understood and practiced In the physical warfare domains, where ships, aircraft and tanks can exercise their capabilities against physical targets; It Is not, however, well refined In the cyber domain. This research Introduces a framework to address this need, and demonstrates a prototype for cyber-attack scenario development and rehearsal In a virtual network environment. By extending the earlier work of the Naval Postgraduate School's Malicious Activity Simulation Tool (MAST), a distributed client-server based software tool designed to launch Inert malware attacks on live networks, we were able to demonstrate cyber-attack scenarios based on temporal specificity and target discrimination as attack parameters. Our prototype accurately models an adversary network In a virtual environment, providing the ability to develop cyber-attack actions to achieve specific cyber effects against hosts on the Intended target network. The architecture allows cyber forces to rehearse specific cyber actions prior to launching a cyberattack, In order to provide a more accurate assessment of the efficacy of these actions against a realistic model of the target network. This framework allows military forces to better train and prepare for cyber operations to help achieve cyber superiority In modern warfare.
Type
Article
Description
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security ICCWS 2018; Hosted By National Defense University, Washington DC, USA; 8 - 9 March 2018.
Series/Report No
Department
Cyber Acadamic Group (CAG)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
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Funder
Format
Citation
Aybar, Luis, Gurminder Singh, and Alan Shaffer. "Developing Simulated Cyber-Attack Scenarios Against Virtualized Adversary Networks." ICCWS 2018 13th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security. Academic Conferences and publishing limited, 2018.
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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