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SPARCS: Synthesis of Platform-aware Attack-Resilient Control Systems


The project aims to develop control systems for ground vehicles that are resilient to a variety of external attacks. Our approach is to combine control-level techniques and code-level techniques, resulting in the approach comprises of two major stages: control law design and control task synthesis. Control-level defenses address attacks on the environment of the controller, such as attacks on sensors, actuators, communication media (i.e., the network) and computational resources available to the controller. Our work on control-level defenses builds upon ways to introduce redundancy within the control loop, as well as new methods for detection and identification of attacks. We utilize security-aware estimators that identify an attack and allow the controller to pursue a mitigation strategy. Code-level defenses prevent injection of malicious code into the operation of the controller itself, achieved through verified code generation of control task code. The verification approach is embedded of the code generation algorithm into the Coq proof assistant.

The SPARKS project is part of a larger effort undertaken by the DARPA HACMS program. The HACMS program aims to create development techniques for high-assurance vehicle control systems. This is to be achieved by combining secure embedded platforms for a variety of ground and air vehicles with resilient control algorithms.


Research sponsored by DARPA under agreement number FA8750-12-2-0247. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of DARPA or the U.S. Government.
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