padlock at computer

Project: Provably Secure Self-Protecting Systems (PROSSES)

The PROSSES project will result in techniques and tools to create a protecting layer for software systems against attacks from the Internet.

Project information

Project manager
Narges Khakpour
Other project members
Danny Weyns, Jesper Andersson, Charilaos Skandylas
Frantisek Mazura (doctoral student), Goran Saman Nariman (MSc student), Alaa Alwan (BSc student)
Participating organizations
Outpost24, Omegapoint
Financier
KK-stiftelsen (the Knowledge Foundation)
Timetable
1 Jan 2017-30 Dec 2020
Subject
Computer Science (Department of Computer Science and Media Technology, Faculty of Technology)

More about the project

The complexity, frequency and diversity of cyber-criminal attacks have rapidly increased over the past years. The attacks target individuals, companies, banks and the military and government agencies, causing several severe disruptions and consequences, e.g., stealing the personal records of 233 million users of ebay. With an increasing number of attacks and systems that become increasingly more adaptive and evolving, the protection mechanisms must subsequently evolve and be improved over time to face future attacks and dependability concerns. Reactive security techniques (like encryption, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) etc), although very useful, can no longer be solely effective in such dynamic environments. As such, self-protection against attacks and threats is becoming an indispensable need. A system needs robust and adaptive security mechanisms to defend and protect itself against threats. To achieve self-protection, a system must always monitor its own behavior, analyze the gathered information to detect potential threats, plan a defense strategy to protect the system against detected attacks and prevent the potential security problems in future, and apply the planed defense strategy in the system. The design and analysis of such complex systems can only be managed with sophisticated techniques with a solid mathematical and logical basis, collectively known as formal methods. These methods are often supported by powerful tools to describe and analyze the system.

The goal of this project is developing a framework to design a component-based protecting layer for a system by focusing on confidentiality and integrity. We will develop techniques and tools to detect and predict potential attacks, and to protect the system against them by applying cost-effective countermeasures. We will demonstrate the framework applicability in practice by applying it on security-critical industrial systems.

Tools

In this project, we are developing a toolset to analyse (Java) programs and detect their security weaknesses. This toolset consists of

  • an engine for static analysis of programs,
  • a plugin to integrate the static analysis tool in Eclipse so that developers can use the tool to analyse security of their programs during development,
  • a module for generating a dynamic monitor for analysing applications security at runtime.

Publications

All publications for the PROSSES research group.

More information

See also the press release for the project (3 April 2017).

See a feature in SVT Nyheter about the project (5 April 2017; in Swedish but the interview is in English)

See also the news item about Charilaos Skandylas (1 March 2018).

Staff

Students

  • Frantisek Mazura, doctoral student in computer science
  • Goran Saman Nariman, MSc student
  • Alaa Alwan, BSc student

 

Image: CC0, https://pixabay.com/en/computer-security-padlock-hacker-1591018