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2012 : Security in Time-Triggered Systems

Author(s)
Armin Wasicek
Abstract
Time-triggered systems define an architectural style to build dependable real-time systems. Until now, research has focused on the safety, reliability, and fault-tolerance properties of time-triggered systems. This thesis analyses the security aspects of timetriggered systems and proposes services to enhance their security. A particular research topic is the role of the global time base, which is the central architectural element in time-triggered systems, to efficiently implement security protocols. The Time-Triggered Architecture (TTA) provides a consistent computing base in a distributed real-time system and is particularly suitable for the implementation safetycritical systems like process control systems. New developments in the area of safetycritical applications like increasing connectivity and extensibility of devices, and deployment in untrusted and less controlled environments open the arena for malicious failure modes which have not been an issue in the past. Security protocols are an active research area and they have been successfully applied in networked computer systems of different scales and purposes (e.g., wireless sensor networks, the Internet). These domains offer a mature body of knowledge of protocols and algorithms, but until now no research has been done, how these protocols can be applied in the TTA. The first step to research security in time-triggered systems is to define a threat model for process control systems implemented on top of a time-triggered computing platform. Next, we assess the functioning of the TTA’s dependability mechanisms in face of common threats. After this analysis, we are able to define a security architecture that interlocks with the specialities of time-triggered systems. Finally, we present a case study in the area of Wide-Area Measurement Systems (WAMS) and provide an experimental evaluation of selected concepts. We are able to show that the dependability mechanisms of the TTA counteract attacks to a certain degree and hence provide a solid foundation for the implementation of security. Furthermore, we propose a suite of security protocols to protect the global time base from malicious manipulations, to implement efficient authentication of application-level communication, and to securely bootstrap a node. The evaluation reveals that our approach is feasible and efficient and that the protocols fulfil the security requirements in a WAMS.
Bibtex
@phdthesis{ wasicek:2012,
  author =      "Armin Wasicek",
  title =       "Security in Time-Triggered Systems",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "2012"
}
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