Finding dependencies between cyber-physical domains for security testing of industrial control systems
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Association for Computing Machinery
In modern societies, critical services such as transportation, power supply, water treatment and distribution are strongly dependent on Industrial Control Systems (ICS). As technology moves along, new features improve services provided by such ICS. On the other hand, this progress also introduces new risks of cyber attacks due to the multiple direct and indirect dependencies between cyber and physical components of such systems. Performing rigorous security tests and risk analysis in these critical systems is thus a challenging task, because of the non-trivial interactions between digital and physical assets and the domain-specific knowledge necessary to analyse a particular system. In this work, we propose a methodology to model and analyse a System Under Test (SUT) as a data flow graph that highlights interactions among internal entities throughout the SUT. This model is automatically extracted from production code available in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). We also propose a reachability algorithm and an attack diagram that will emphasize the dependencies between cyber and physical domains, thus enabling a human analyst to gauge various attack vectors that arise from subtle dependencies in data and information propagation. We test our methodology in a functional water treatment testbed and demonstrate how an analyst could make use of our designed attack diagrams to reason on possible threats to various targets of the SUT. © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery.
Control systems , Cyber Physical System , Data flow analysis , Data flow graphs , Embedded systems , Graphic methods , Industrial water treatment , Information dissemination , Network security , Programmable logic controllers , Risk analysis , Risk assessment , Critical service , Data and information , Domain-specific knowledge , Industrial control systems , Information ow , Physical components , Security testing , System under test , Intelligent control , Cyber-Physical Systems , ICS Security , Information ow