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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Modeling Deception In Information Security As A Hypergame – A Primer


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Christopher Gutierrez, Mohammed Almeshekah, Eugene Spafford, Saurabh Bagchi, Jeff Avery, Paul Wood

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CERIAS TR 2016-5

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Hypergames are a branch of game theory used to model and analyze game theoretic conflicts between multiple players who may have misconceptions of the other players' actions or preferences. They have been used to model military conflicts such as the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1945 [1], the fall of France in WWII [2], and the Cuban missile crisis [3]. Unlike traditional game theory models, hypergames give us the ability to model misperceptions that result from the use of deception, mimicry, and misinformation. In the security world, there is little work that shows how to use deception in a principled manner as a strategic defensive mechanism in computing systems. In this paper, we present how hypergames model deception in computer security conflicts. We discuss how hypergames can be used to model the interaction between adversaries and system defenders. We discuss a specific example of modeling a system where an insider adversary wishes to steal some confidential data from an enterprise and a security administrator is protecting the system. We show the advantages of incorporating deception as a defense mechanism. [1] M. A. Takahashi, N. M. Fraser, and K. W. Hipel. A Procedure for Analyzing Hypergames. European Journal of Operational Research, 18:111–122, 1984 [2] P. G. Bennett and M. R. Dando. Complex Strategic Analysis: A Hypergame Study of the Fall of France. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 30(1):23–32, 1979. [3] N. Fraser and K. Hipel. Conflict analysis: Models and Resolutions. North-Holland Series in System Science and Engineering. North-Holland, 1984.




2016 – 7 – 25

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