Informing Active Cyber Defence with Realistic Adversarial Behaviour

Abstract:

In this paper, a cross-disciplinary approach is employed to inform the planning efforts of active cyber defence for military leaders. Militaries across the world are operating under the assumption that cyberspace infrastructure is vulnerable, and potentially compromised, at any given time. Therefore, proactive measures are being taken to secure critical systems, and these measures are known as active cyber defence. In this work, a dataset of empirically observed adversary behaviour activities, collected at the 2015 North American International Cyber Summit (NAICS), is added to an existing cyber warfare simulation framework. By improving the simulation framework in this way, cyber planners can reason about the effective use of cyber forces in the pursuit of active cyber defence. Cross-disciplinary approaches such as this are of paramount importance in order to gain an understanding of the multitude of variables affecting complex cyberspace environments. Five virtual experiments are conducted using the improved computational model based on the observed adversary behaviour. These experiments illuminate key considerations for military planners.


AUTHORS

Photo of Geoffrey B. Dobson

School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA,
U.S.

Geoffrey B. Dobson is a Computer Engineer and member of the Technical Staff at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., where he splits time managing U.S. Army cyber warfare exercises and conducting research on the science of cyber security.  He is also a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in the School of Computer Science.

Image of Dr. Aunshul Rege

Department of Criminal Justice Temple University Philadelphia, PA,
U.S.A.

Dr. Aunshul Rege is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice  at  Temple University. Her National Science Foundation- supported research on cybercrime focuses on adversarial movement, decision-making and adaptation, adversarial organisational and operational dynamics, and anticipatory defence. She also investigates experiential learning in the areas of cyberattacks and cyber security—across all disciplines— emphasizing the relevance of human behaviour and the social sciences.

Phot of Dr. Kathleen M. Carley

School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA,
U.S.

Dr. Kathleen M. Carley is a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  U.S.  Her research combines cognitive science, sociology, and computer science to address complex social and organisational issues, such as  fake news, counter-terrorism, and organizational design.

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