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Charles Kamhoua

Joint Trust & Security/Assured Cloud Computing Seminar

Application of Game Theory to High Assurance Cloud Computing

Charles Kamhoua, US Air Force Research Lab

September 20, 2016, 4:00 p.m., CSL Auditorium (B02)

Abstract: The growth of cloud computing has spurred many entities, both small and large, to use cloud services for cost savings. Public cloud computing has allowed for quick, dynamic scalability without many overhead or long-term commitments. However, concern over cyber security is the main reason many large organizations with sensitive information such as the Department of Defense have been reluctant to join a public cloud. This is due to three challenging problems. First, the current cloud infrastructures lack provable trustworthiness. Integrating Trusted Computing (TC) technologies with cloud infrastructure shows a promising method for verifying the cloud’s behaviors, which may in turn facilitate provable trustworthiness. Second, public clouds have the inherent and unknown danger stemming from a shared platform - namely, the hypervisor. An attacker that subverts a virtual machine (VM) and then goes on to compromise the hypervisor can readily compromise all virtual machines on that hypervisor. We propose a security-aware virtual machine placement scheme in the cloud. Third, a sophisticated attack in a cloud has to be understood as a sequence of events that calls for the detection/response model to encompass observations from varying dimensions. We discuss a method to automatically determine the best response, given the observations on the system states from a set of monitors.

Game theory provides a rich mathematical tool to analyze conflict within strategic interactions and thereby gain a deeper understanding of cloud security issues. Theoretical constructs or mathematical abstractions provide a rigorous scientific basis for cyber security because they allow for reasoning quantitatively about cyber-attacks. This talk will address the three cloud security challenging problems identified above and report on our latest findings from this body of work.

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