Integration Methods for Host Intrusion Detection into Embedded Mixed-Criticality Systems

  • With the growing support for features such as hardware virtualization tied to the boost of hardware capacity, embedded systems are now able to regroup many software components on a same hardware platform to save costs. This evolution has raised system complexity, motivating the introduction of Mixed-Criticality Systems (MCS) to consolidate applications from different criticality levels on a hardware target: in critical environments such as an aircraft or a factory floor, high-critical functions are now regrouped with other non-critical functions. A key requirement of such system is to guarantee that the execution of a critical function cannot be compromised by other functions, especially by ones with a lower-criticality level. In this context, runtime intrusion detection contributes to secure system execution to avoid an intentional misbehavior in critical applications. Host Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS) has been an active field of research for computer security for more than two decades. The goal of HIDS is to detect traces of malicious activity in the execution of a monitored software at runtime. While this topic has been extensively investigated for general-purpose computers, its application in the specific context of embedded MCS is comparatively more recent. We extend the domain of HIDS research towards HIDS deployment into industrial embedded MCS. For this, we provide a review of state-of-the-art HIDS solutions and evaluate the main problems towards a deployment into an industrial embedded MCS. We present several HIDS approaches based on solutions for general-purpose computers, which we apply to protect the execution of an application running into an embedded MCS. We introduce two main HIDS methods to protect the execution of a given user-level application. Because of possible criticality constraints of the monitored application, such as industrial certification aspects, our solutions support transparent monitoring; i.e. they do not require application instrumentation. On one hand, we propose a machine-learning (ML) based framework to monitor low-level system events transparently. On the other hand, we introduce a hardware-assisted control-flow monitoring framework to deploy control-flow integrity monitoring without instrumentation of the monitored application. We provide a methodology to integrate and evaluate HIDS mechanisms into an embedded MCS. We evaluate and implement our monitoring solutions on a practical industrial platform, using generic hardware system and SYSGO’s industrial real-time hypervisor.

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Author:Marine Kadar
Advisor:Gerhard FohlerORCiD, Sergey Tverdyshev, Philipp Gorski
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2022/05/16
Year of Publication:2022
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2022/03/25
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/07/05
Tag:embedded mixed-criticality systems; intrusion detection; runtime monitoring; safety and security
Number of page:XX, 202
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik
CCS-Classification (computer science):C. Computer Systems Organization / C.3 SPECIAL-PURPOSE AND APPLICATION-BASED SYSTEMS (J.7)
I. Computing Methodologies / I.2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)