Restart-Based Security Mechanisms for Safety-Critical Embedded Systems

Many physical plants that are controlled by embedded systems have safety requirements that need to be respected at all times - any deviations from expected behavior can result in damage to the system (often to the physical plant), the environment or even endanger human life. In recent times, malicious attacks against such systems have increased - many with the intent to cause physical damage. In this paper, we aim to decouple the safety of the plant from security of the embedded system by taking advantage of the inherent inertia in such systems. In this paper we present a system-wide restart-based framework that combines hardware and software components to (a) maintain the system within the safety region and (b) thwart potential attackers from destabilizing the system. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach using two realistic systems - an actual 3 degree of freedom (3-DoF) helicopter and a simulated warehouse temperature control unit. Our proof-of-concept implementation is tested against multiple emulated attacks on the control units of these systems.


Similar Publications

Blockchain is a distributed database which is cryptographically protected against malicious modifications. While promising for a wide range of applications, current blockchain platforms rely on digital signatures, which are vulnerable to attacks by means of quantum computers. The same, albeit to a lesser extent, applies to cryptographic hash functions that are used in preparing new blocks, so parties with access to quantum computation would have unfair advantage in procuring mining rewards. Read More


A number of security mechanisms have been proposed to harden programs written in unsafe languages, each of which mitigates a specific type of memory error. Intuitively, enforcing multiple security mechanisms on a target program will improve its overall security. However, this is not yet a viable approach in practice because the execution slowdown caused by various security mechanisms is often non-linearly accumulated, making the combined protection prohibitively expensive; further, most security mechanisms are designed for independent or isolated uses and thus are often in conflict with each other, making it impossible to fuse them in a straightforward way. Read More


Deep learning has shown promising results on hard perceptual problems in recent years. However, deep learning systems are found to be vulnerable to small adversarial perturbations that are nearly imperceptible to human. Such specially crafted perturbations cause deep learning systems to output incorrect decisions, with potentially disastrous consequences. Read More


This document is a response to a report from the University of Melbourne on the privacy of the Opal dataset release. The Opal dataset was released by Data61 (CSIRO) in conjunction with the Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW). The data consists of two separate weeks of "tap-on/tap-off" data of individuals who used any of the four different modes of public transport from TfNSW: buses, light rail, train and ferries. Read More


This paper proposes DeepSecure, a novel framework that enables scalable execution of the state-of-the-art Deep Learning (DL) models in a privacy-preserving setting. DeepSecure targets scenarios in which neither of the involved parties including the cloud servers that hold the DL model parameters or the delegating clients who own the data is willing to reveal their information. Our framework is the first to empower accurate and scalable DL analysis of data generated by distributed clients without sacrificing the security to maintain efficiency. Read More


PrivacyScore ist ein \"offentliches Web-Portal, mit dem automatisiert \"uberpr\"uft werden kann, ob Webseiten g\"angige Mechanismen zum Schutz von Sicherheit und Privatheit korrekt implementieren. Im Gegensatz zu existierenden Diensten erm\"oglicht PrivacyScore, mehrere Webseiten in Benchmarks miteinander zu vergleichen, die Ergebnisse differenziert und im Zeitverlauf zu analysieren sowie nutzerdefinierte Kriterien f\"ur die Auswertung zu definieren. PrivacyScore verbessert dadurch nicht nur die Transparenz f\"ur Endanwender, sondern erleichtert auch die Arbeit der Datenschutz-Aufsichtsbeh\"orden. Read More


In the last years we have witnessed the appearance of a variety of strategies to design optimal location privacy-preserving mechanisms, in terms of maximizing the adversary's expected error with respect to the users' whereabouts. In this work we take a closer look at the defenses created by these strategies and show that there are many mechanisms that are indeed optimal in terms of adversary's correctness, but not all of them offer the same protection when looking at other dimensions of privacy. To avoid such "bad" choices we argue that the search for optimal mechanisms must be guided by complementary criteria to evaluate the privacy protection they offer. Read More


This paper presents two novel approaches to increase performance bounds of image steganography under the criteria of minimizing distortion. First, in order to efficiently use the images' capacities, we propose using parallel images in the embedding stage. The result is then used to prove sub-optimality of the message distribution technique used by all cost based algorithms including HUGO, S-UNIWARD, and HILL. Read More


We present a systematic study of ad blocking - and the associated "arms race" - as a security problem. We model ad blocking as a state space with four states and six state transitions, which correspond to techniques that can be deployed by either publishers or ad blockers. We argue that this is a complete model of the system. Read More