A Mobile Ambients-based Approach for Network Attack Modelling and Simulation

Franqueira, Virginia Nunes Leal, van Eck, Pascal and Wieringa, Roel (2009) A Mobile Ambients-based Approach for Network Attack Modelling and Simulation. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Dependability Aspects on Data Warehousing and Mining applications, DAWAM 2009 (in conjunction with ARES 2009, The Fourth International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security), 16-19 March 2009, Fukuoka, Japan.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ARES.2009.125


Attack Graphs are an important support for assessment and subsequent improvement of network security. They reveal possible paths an attacker can take to break through security perimeters and traverse a network to reach valuable assets deep inside the network. Although scalability is no longer the main issue, Attack Graphs still have some problems that make them less useful in practice. First, Attack Graphs remain difficult to relate to the network topology. Second, Attack Graphs traditionally only consider the exploitation of vulnerable hosts. Third, Attack Graphs do not rely on automatic identification of potential attack targets. We address these gaps in our MsAMS (Multi-step Attack Modelling and Simulation) tool, based on Mobile Ambients. The tool not only allows the modelling of more static aspects of the network, such as the network topology, but also the dynamics of network attacks. In addition to Mobile Ambients, we use the PageRank algorithm to determine targets and hub scores produced by the HITS (Hypertext Induced Topic Search) algorithm to guide the simulation of an attacker searching for targets.

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