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Secure Systems Lab

Research on Virtual Network Lab

Cyber security experiments with potentially malicious software can possibly damage the testbed environment and "escape" into the Internet. Due to this security concern, networks used in such experiments are often totally isolated from production networks and the Internet. This choice, however, precludes remote access to testbeds used for security experiments, thus requiring costly duplication of equipment, manpower and expertise at sites that experiment with malicious software. We have therefore developed an alternative approach that is aimed at providing a degree of safety comparable to that of physically isolated testbeds while still permitting remote connectivity. Our approach relies on logical isolation of networks used in different security experiments using network virtualization at the datalink layer.

Our ongoing research is concerned with making this platform easily manageable. We are also very interested in efficient resource management techniques that can effectively utilize testbed resources, while supporting a wide range of users with dynamically changing requirements.

Related Publications

[1]  V-NetLab: An Approach for Realizing Logically Isolated Networks for Security Experiments
Weiqing Sun, Varun Katta, Kumar Krishna and R. Sekar
Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (in conjunction with USENIX Security) (CSET) July, 2008.
[2]  V-NetLab: A Cost-Effective Platform to Support Course Projects in Computer Security
Kumar Krishna, Weiqing Sun, Pratik Rana, Tianning Li and R. Sekar
Annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) June, 2005.

Research Areas

Source-code analysis/transformation
Binary analysis/rewriting
Policy/Specification Languages
OS and Virtualization Techniques
Learning/anomaly detection
Formal methods/Foundations

Research Problems

Randomization/Memory Errors
Information flow analysis
Automated Exploit Defenses
Virtual Network Lab
Safe execution/attack recovery
Automated signature generation
Malware/Untrusted code defense
Intrusion/Anomaly detection
Fast packet matching
Policy generation tools

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