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UW EE Research Recognized by Science of Security Organization

A paper authored by a team of UW EE researchers was selected to be included in an upcoming issue of the Science of Security Index of Significant Research in Cyber Security. With more than 2,500 published papers reviewed monthly by the Science of Security Virtual Organization, only up to 15% are considered significant enough to be included in the publication.

Paper authors are Ph.D. student Phillip Lee, Ph.D. graduate Andrew Clark (now Assistant Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Research Associate Professor Linda Bushnell and Professor and Department Chair Radha Poovendran. Funded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation, the research paper is titled “A Passivity Framework for Modeling and Mitigating Wormhole Attacks on Networked Control Systems.”

The team’s research explores wormhole attacks, in which an adversary records messages in one area of a network and replays them in a different area. This creates a communication link, resembling a tunnel-like connection, which compromises the performance of cyber-physical systems. Since wormhole attacks reroute and replay official messages, they cannot be detected using cryptographic mechanisms.

The paper introduces a framework to better measure the impact of wormholes using quantitative analysis and proposes methods of mitigation. Offering for the first time an analytical approach to addressing wormholes, the research complements recent cyber-security efforts to develop a scientific approach to understanding and resolving security threats.

Congratulations, Phillip, Andrew, Linda and Radha!

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