FRONTIER-COMPAT - Inferring causal relationships in complex systems
The increasing complexity of networks has made security assessment difficult. The more complicated a system is, the more likely vulnerabilities are. Managing the security of a network requires thorough understanding of it. Many networks have become protocol jungles, for which a good guide is hard to find. Existing security products generally relieve the symptoms of the real problem by trying to prevent attackers from exploiting the vulnerabilities present in the system, but they are not a panacea. The only way to improve security is finding and repairing the problems where they are. The FRONTIER-COMPAT project develops methods for inferring causal relationships in distributed systems. Probes that collect raw measurement data, such as network traffic, are placed throughout the system. The data is classified and relationships between different events are inferred by different metrics, e.g. a new connection being established by a host after it receives data. The analysed data is represented as a graph that can be visualised. Visualising the data helps to add understanding about systems, such as information propagation and leakage. Experiences in applying a prototype versions of the system to real-life scenarios have been positive, and the system has found unexpected information leaks even in laboratory conditions, where the environment was thought to be understood fully.
- Published documentation produced in the Frontier project and further work in this area:
- Pekka Pietikäinen, Kati Karjalainen, Juhani Eronen, Juha Röning J. (2010) "Socio-technical Security Assessment of a VoIP System", The Fourth International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies (SECURWARE 2010), July 18--25, 2010 - Venice/Mestre, Italy.
Pekka Pietikäinen, Joachim Viide and Juha Röning (2008) "Exploiting Causality and Communication Patterns in Network Data Analysis". 16th IEEE Workshop on Local and Metropolitan Area Networks (LANMAN 2008), Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania, 114-119, ISBN: 978-1-4244-2028-5.
Pekka Pietikäinen and Lari Huttunen. (2006). "Behavioral Study of Bot Obedience using Causal Relationship Analysis". 18th Annual FIRST Conference. Baltimore, MD.
Jani Kenttälä. (2005). "Exploiting Communication Patterns in Complex Information Networks". [Accessed: 2004-04-28].
Pekka Pietikäinen and Juha Röning. (2005). "Communication Pattern Extraction: Inferring causal relationships in complex systems". ISCA 20th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications (CATA-2005). New Orleans, LA.
A brochure with a couple of use cases.
Kati Karjalainen. (2003). "Pseudosatunnaislukugeneraattoreista". [Accessed: 2004-03-15].
Kati Karjalainen and Joachim Viide. ( 2002 ). "Pseudo Random Number Generators". [Accessed: 2004-03-15].
A poster about Frontier research: [pdf]
T2 2005 presentation about FRONTIER [pdf].
WiFipedia - a free source of Wi-Fi related information.
- FRONTIER 2002-2003 and the follow-on project FRONTIER-COMPAT 2004-2005 are funded by National Technology Agency (Tekes) and supported by two partners from the telecommunication industry. The primary contractor is Computer Engineering Laboratory of University of Oulu. FRONTIER has had an annual volume of 100 000 EUR.
- The preferred way of contacting the project personnel is through Frontier working group mailing list. Please remove SPAMLESS before delivery.