Chris Jenkins - Sandia National Laboratories

Oct 02, 2019

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"Moving Target Defense for a Serial Communication Protocol"

Abstract

Nation-state adversaries have shown the ability to disrupt critical infrastructure through cyber-attacks targeting systems of networked, embedded computers. This knowledge raises concern that space systems could face similar threats. This project will research and develop moving target defense algorithms that will add cyber resilience to space systems by improving their ability to withstand cyber-attacks. Most proposed cyber resilience solutions focus on or require detection of threats before mitigative actions can be taken, a significant technical challenge. Our novel approach avoids this requirement while creating informational asymmetry that favors defenders over attackers.
We hypothesize that moving target defenses (MTD) can create dynamic, uncertain environments on space systems and be used to defeat cyber threats against these systems. Many proposed solutions focus on or require detection (e.g. anomaly detection, AI, data analytics) before mitigative actions can be taken, a significant technical challenge. We propose a novel approach that avoids this requirement while creating informational asymmetry that favors defenders over attackers.

About the Speaker

Dr. Chris Jenkins is a principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. His primary responsibility focuses on cybersecurity. Under the cybersecurity umbrella, he focuses on two areas. First, he conducts assessments for a variety of government customers by analyzing devices and systems for vulnerabilities and design flaws. Second, he leads a moving target defense (MTD) research project. His MTD project looks to build cyber resiliency into the design of non-IP based networks. For example, his current research seeks to dynamically change addresses of devices on a non-IP bus where by adversaries have difficulty attacking nodes on the bus. In addition, he works on a high-performance computing (HPC) project called qthreads, which is a general-purpose multithreading library for HPC systems. He plans to port the library to the ASTRA supercomputer purchase by the department of energy. This supercomputer differs as it does not use x86 CPUs. Instead, the supercomputer uses ARM processors based on the ARMv8 architecture.

Chris received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He finished his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on accelerating cryptographic algorithms utilizing SIMD execution units on a software-defined radio DSP.

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