ITTC Project

CT-ISG: Collaborative Research: Non-bypassable Kernel Services for Execution Security

Project Award Date: 07-27-2007


Society is increasingly dependent on complex engineered systems such as supervisory control and data access systems for power grid management, industrial control systems for automated manufacturing, and medical device systems for patient monitoring and treatment. Recent trends toward teleoperation and monitoring of these critical systems, and toward connecting them with noncritical systems that can be accessed through public networks, have increased their vulnerability to cyber-attack. To protect safety, health, and economic concerns of national interest, it is critical that these systems maintain survivable operation even in the face of malicious attacks. ITTC research addresses the fundamental problem of how to isolate interactions among computations in these systems according to specific execution constraints. Computations cannot interfere with one others specified constraints even when some computations are used to mount adversarial attacks on others.

Although there are many ways attackers could interfere with system computations, the set of services needed to support non-bypassable isolation of interference between computations is in fact small. ITTC researchers are developing a set of kernel services to provide non-bypass able isolation of computations access to and use of resources and system components from interference with other computations specified execution constraints. This approach differs from other approaches in that it does not depend on segregating the computations themselves into resource partitions, but instead focuses on isolating the effects of different computations execution on their ability to meet their specified execution constraints, based on formal models of the computations and the system components they use.

In Collaboration with Washington University


Faculty Investigator(s): Douglas Niehaus (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Andrew Boie, Michael Jantz, Michael Cribbs, Noah Watkins, Matthew Beattie, Tyrian Phagan, Trevor Handley, Jonathan Henderson, Justin Riley, Paul Sutor, Harold Hicks

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): NSF

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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