Relational Analysis of Sensor Attacks on Cyber-Physical Systems. (arXiv:2106.01850v1 [cs.CR])

Cyber-physical systems, such as self-driving cars or autonomous aircraft,
must defend against attacks that target sensor hardware. Analyzing system
design can help engineers understand how a compromised sensor could impact the
system’s behavior; however, designing security analyses for cyber-physical
systems is difficult due to their combination of discrete dynamics, continuous
dynamics, and nondeterminism.

This paper contributes a framework for modeling and analyzing sensor attacks
on cyber-physical systems, using the formalism of hybrid programs. We formalize
and analyze two relational properties of a system’s robustness. These
relational properties respectively express (1) whether a system’s safety
property can be influenced by sensor attacks, and (2) whether a system’s
high-integrity state can be affected by sensor attacks. We characterize these
relational properties by defining an equivalence relation between a system
under attack and the original unattacked system. That is, the system satisfies
the robustness properties if executions of the attacked system are
appropriately related to executions of the unattacked system.

We present two techniques for reasoning about the equivalence relation and
thus proving the relational properties for a system. One proof technique
decomposes large proof obligations to smaller proof obligations. The other
proof technique adapts the self-composition technique from the literature on
secure information-flow, allowing us to reduce reasoning about the equivalence
of two systems to reasoning about properties of a single system. This technique
allows us to reuse existing tools for reasoning about properties of hybrid
programs, but is challenging due to the combination of discrete dynamics,
continuous dynamics, and nondeterminism.

To evaluate, we present three case studies motivated by real design flaws in
existing cyber-physical systems.