HIGH-FIDELITY VIRTUALIZATION FOR CYBER OPERATIONS
Ingraham, Corey D.
Shaffer, Alan B.
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Virtualization has become ubiquitous in cyberspace over the last decade, expanding into cloud technology and embedded mobile devices. Outside of a highly sophisticated user community, consumer demand has yet to realize the need for creation of a high-fidelity virtual environment, resulting in a lack of specialized hypervisor design and a stall in the evolution of a higher level of fidelity in virtual hardware. Most modern hypervisors rely on virtual hardware designed to meet the minimum requirements of computing, leading to a low-fidelity implementation in virtual systems when compared to their non-virtualized counterparts. High-fidelity can be achieved by effectively emulating these physical characteristics in a virtual environment that could enable further development of cyber operations by providing all the benefits of virtualization coupled with a specialized high-fidelity execution environment. This thesis aggregates and categorizes fidelity variance between virtual machines and their physical counterparts, and classifies these variances into five domains based on their unique characteristics and potential for application in high-fidelity virtualization. We further conducted an in-depth analysis on each domain to assess the challenges and practicality of implementation in a high-fidelity virtualization environment. Finally, we presented a methodology to emulate physical characteristics of virtual hardware to create a high-fidelity virtual machine.
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