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Securing Clock Synchronization in Industrial Heterogeneous Networks
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2018-0996
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today, wireless solutions for industrial networks are becoming more and more appealing since they increase flexibility and enable the use of additional wireless sensors, but also bring such advantages as mobility and weight reduction. Wired networks, on the other hand, are reliable and, more importantly, already existing in most distributed control loops. Heterogeneous networks consisting of wireless as well as wired sub-networks are gaining attention as such networks combine the advantages of both approaches. However, wireless communication links are more vulnerable to security breaches because of their broadcast nature. For this reason, industrial heterogeneous networks require a new type of security solutions, since they have different system assets and security objectives. This thesis aims to secure industrial heterogeneous networks. Such networks have real-time requirements due to interaction with some physical process, and thus have a schedule with one or more deadlines for data delivery in order to comply with the timing requirements of the application. The necessity to follow the schedule implies that all network participants should share the same notion of time and be synchronized. This fact makes clock synchronization a fundamental asset for industrial networks. The first step towards developing a security framework for industrial heterogeneous networks with real-time requirements is therefore to investigate ways of breaching clock synchronization. Once the vulnerabilities of this asset have been identified, the next step is to propose solutions to detect malicious attacks and mitigate their influence. The thesis provides a vulnerability analysis of the asset synchronization based on the widely deployed IEEE 1588 standard, and identifies a possibility to break clock synchronization through a combination of a man-in-the-middle attack and a delay attack. This attack is appealing to an adversary as it can target any network requiring synchronization. Next, several mitigation techniques, such as a relaxed synchronization condition mode, delay bounding and using knowledge of existing environmental conditions, are identified, making the network more resilient against these kinds of attacks. Finally, a network monitor aiming to detect anomalies introduced by the adversary performing attacks targeting clock synchronization is proposed as a mean to detect the delay attack. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2016.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 232
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31376ISBN: 978-91-7485-258-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31376DiVA: diva2:916720
Presentation
2016-05-18, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-05 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Game Theory Applied to Secure Clock Synchronization with IEEE 1588
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2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås, Sweden: Mälardalen Real-Time Research Centre, Mälardalen University, 2016
Series
, MRTC Reports, ISSN 1404-3041
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31364 (URN)MDH-MRTC-309/2016-1-SE (ISRN)
Projects
RetNet - The European Industrial Doctorate Programme on Future Real-Time Networks
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2016-04-05Bibliographically approved
2. Risk Evaluation of an ARP Poisoning Attack on Clock Synchronization for Industrial Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk Evaluation of an ARP Poisoning Attack on Clock Synchronization for Industrial Applications
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2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, 2016, Vol. may, 872-878 p., 7474866Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Nowadays, mixed wireless and wired networks are used everywhere in everyday life, including in industry where they often support time-critical applications. Industrial applications with high precision requirements are subject to real-time constraints, and thus one of the main assets, regardless of application area, is clock synchronization. Considering such networks, synchronization is the first thing to secure against a possible malicious adversary. In this paper, we consider ARP poisoning as a possible technique to disrupt clock synchronization and evaluate the effects of such an attack on the IEEE 1588 standard. We describe possible ways of performing ARP poisoning to disrupt synchronization and survey several mitigation techniques and their applicability within the industrial application area.

Keyword
IEEE 1588, synchronization, ARP poisoning
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31362 (URN)10.1109/ICIT.2016.7474866 (DOI)000386327700138 ()2-s2.0-84974624930 (ScopusID)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology ICIT 2016, 14 Mar 2016, Taipei, Taiwan
Projects
RetNet - The European Industrial Doctorate Programme on Future Real-Time Networks
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved
3. A Survey of Security Frameworks Suitable for Distributed Control Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Survey of Security Frameworks Suitable for Distributed Control Systems
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2015 (English)In: International Conference on Computing and Network Communications CoCoNet'15, 2015, 205-211 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Nowadays distributed control systems have become more and more common and important in everyday life. However, as many distributed control systems become mobile, wireless, autonomous, ubiquitous and connected, the need for secure communication is imminent. In particular, the need for a general security framework with sufficiently flexible structure, and applicable for various use cases, emerges. Especially this applies to control system based on heterogeneous networks consisting of a wired and a wireless parts. Wired networks are nowadays often connected to Internet and thereby more exposed to potential attackers, and wireless networks are, by nature, more vulnerable to eavesdropping, jamming and hijacking. In this paper we define a scope of use cases based on distributed control, together with requirements for evaluating existing security solutions and frameworks. In addition, several frameworks, mainly from the area of industrial automation, are surveyed and evaluated based on the identified use cases and security requirements.

Keyword
heterogeneous networks, security framework, threat modelling
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-29681 (URN)10.1109/CoCoNet.2015.7411188 (DOI)000376085000029 ()2-s2.0-84964902449 (ScopusID)978-1-4673-7209-1 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Computing and Network Communications, CoCoNet 2015; Trivandrum; India; 15 December 2015 through 19 December 2015; Category numberCFP15C74-ART; Code 119540
Projects
RetNet - The European Industrial Doctorate Programme on Future Real-Time NetworksEmbedded Systems - Adjungerad lektor Johan Åkerberg
Available from: 2015-12-02 Created: 2015-11-26 Last updated: 2016-06-09Bibliographically approved
4. Towards secure wireless TTEthernet for industrial process automation applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards secure wireless TTEthernet for industrial process automation applications
2014 (English)In: 19th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, ETFA 2014, 2014, Article number 7005310- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

TTEthernet is a communication platform which builds on Ethernet, but extends it to include fault-tolerance and real-time mechanisms. The existing TTEthernet technology is developed for wired networks. A natural step for improving and extending the current application field is the introduction of a mixed wired and wireless network. However, this step requires research both about possible adaptation of existing systems as well as implementation of new technologies. A central research question is the security aspects of real-time sensor networks using wired and wireless technologies based on TTEthernet. In this paper, we identify and classify the most important aspects to consider in order to provide secure communications in such safety-critical industrial applications and propose a potential solution to address identified issues.

Keyword
Accident prevention, Factory automation, Fault tolerance, Mobile security, Sensor networks, Wireless telecommunication systems, Application fields, Communication platforms, Industrial processs, Real-time mechanisms, Real-time sensor networks, Research questions, Security aspects, Wired and wireless, Wireless sensor networks
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27930 (URN)10.1109/ETFA.2014.7005310 (DOI)000360999100261 ()2-s2.0-84946693621 (ScopusID)9781479948468 (ISBN)
Conference
19th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, ETFA 2014, 16 September 2014 through 19 September 2014
Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-30 Last updated: 2016-04-05Bibliographically approved
5. Protecting Clock Synchronization: Adversary Detection through Network Monitoring
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protecting Clock Synchronization: Adversary Detection through Network Monitoring
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ISSN 2090-0147, E-ISSN 2090-0155, 6297476Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Today, industrial networks are often used for safetycritical applications with real-time requirements. The architecture of such applications usually has a time-triggered nature that has message scheduling as a core property. Real-time scheduling can be applied only in networks where nodes share the same notion of time, i.e., they are synchronized. Therefore, clock synchronization is one of the fundamental assets of industrial networks with real-time requirements. However, standards for clock synchronization, i.e., IEEE 1588, do not provide the required level of security. This raises the question about clock synchronization protection. In this paper we identify a way to break synchronization based on the IEEE 1588 standard by conducting a man-in-the-middle (MIM) attack followed by a delay attack. MIM attack can be accomplished through e.g., Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) poisoning. Using AVISPA tool we evaluate the potential to perform an ARP poisoning attack. Next, an analysis of the consequences of introducing delays is made, showing both that the attack can, indeed, break clock synchronization and that some design choices, such as a relaxed synchronization condition mode, delay bounding and using knowledge of environmental conditions, can be made to make the network more robust/resilient against these kinds of attacks. Lastly, network monitoring is proposed as a technique to detect anomalies introduced by an adversary performing attacks targeting clock synchronization. The monitoring capabilities are added to the network using a Configuration Agent, which, based on data obtained from the network, is able to detect an attack. The main contribution of the paper is a detailed problem description and evaluation of a security vulnerability in IEEE 1588 against delay attacks together with an evaluation of several approaches as possible mitigation techniques for the attack.

National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31363 (URN)10.1155/2016/6297476 (DOI)000377485400001 ()2-s2.0-84973312270 (ScopusID)
Projects
RetNet - The European Industrial Doctorate Programme on Future Real-Time Networks
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2016-10-31Bibliographically approved

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