Cyber Security Assignment

An Overview of Cyber Attack and Computer Network Operations Simulation
Sylvain P. Leblanc,
Andrew Partington
Computer Security Laboratory
Royal Military College of Canada
Ian Chapman,
Mélanie Bernier
Centre for Operational Research and Analysis
Defence Research and Development Canada
Keywords: Overview, Survey Paper, Cyber Attacks, Cyber
Warfare, Computer Network Operations
This paper represents a snapshot of the current state of
the art in the simulation and modeling of cyber attacks and
defensive responses to those. It discusses a number of
simulations of cyber warfare, including live, virtual, and
constructive simulations. The simulations discussed in this
paper were found in the open literature and were conducted
in the private sector, academia, and government. Each
simulation is briefly described, including goals,
methodology, and a brief discussion of its accomplishments.
These modeling and simulation efforts are of particular
interest to the military modeling and simulation community,
as it is likely that military forces will continue to rely ever
more heavily on computer and communication networks.
The concepts and technical challenges behind the
simulation of military conflicts in the traditional operational
domains – land, maritime, and air – have been well
understood for several decades, and thus numerous
applications have been developed to support computer
wargaming. These wargames are typically used to support
training and experimentation, and are seen as a safe and
cost-effective way to assess the effects of new technologies
and equipment before deploying them to the real battlefield.
Recent events, such as the 2007 cyber attack on
Estonia, have shown the rising importance of computer
network operations (CNO)1
in an increasingly internetworked
world. Both civilian and military domains have
become increasingly reliant on computer networks for
communication, information management, utilities
management, financial systems, air traffic control, and many
other critical applications. In fact, the authors argue
elsewhere at this conference that CNO education is vital for
both technical and non-technical commanders, and propose
using simulation to further these educational goals [1].

Per US Doctrine, CNO is comprised of Computer Network
Defense (CND), Computer Network Attack (CNA) and
Computer Network Exploitation (CNE). Many sources use
cyber warfare; we use both terms.
Cyber attacks have the potential to be extremely disruptive
to a wired society. To understand some of the ramifications
of these events, including their potential impact on the use
of networks, the research community has begun the
development of a number of applications to simulate cyber
The paper is separated in two main sections. The first
part will discuss prominent private sector and academic
research, while the second will discuss public sector
research in the field of modeling and simulation for cyber
This paper is intended to present the results of our
survey of current unclassified research literature, openly
published on the topic of simulation for cyber warfare. It is
not meant to be all encompassing. The authors have not
found other works that attempt to summarize key efforts in
this area of study.
The authors believe that simulation will make ever
greater contributions to the field of cyber warfare and CNO.
This paper and the Military Modeling Symposium that flow
from it should be viewed as an attempt to engage the
research community on this important emerging topic.
The idea of simulating cyber attacks has been
investigated by several researchers and students at
universities as well as in private organizations. The
simulations discussed in this section have been selected for
discussion because they represent some of the most
significant work in cyber attack modeling.
2.1. Cyber Attack Modeling using ARENA
ARENA is a constructive simulation developed by
researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT),
partially sponsored by the U.S Air Force Research
Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, NY. The ARENA simulation
software was used to simulate cyber attacks against a
computer network from an external source such as the
internet [2-3].
The simulation models step-by-step attacks on a
computer network. The attacks can be automatically created
within the constructs of the tool, or they can be predefined
in XML files that can be loaded by the simulation tool. Each
attack has a specific associated attack type and a target
computer on the network under attack. The simulation
supports a variety of attack types such as Denial of Service
(DoS) attacks and the installation of a backdoor on a target
computer. Each attack will typically go through numerous
steps to attempt access to a target computer. Therefore, each
attack will typically involve an attacker infiltrating several
intermediary computers and servers on a network in order to
compromise the target computer. Along with its defined
type and target, each attack includes characteristics of the
attacker by giving a normalized value for efficiency, stealth
and skill. Efficiency refers to the speed and swiftness with
which the attacker can move from one intermediary host to
another in a multi-tiered network. Stealth refers to the
attacker’s ability to avoid unnecessary intermediate steps
which may alert network defenders to his presence. Finally,
the attacker’s skill parameter is used to determine
stochastically the success of each intermediary steps
required to prosecute the attack against the target computer.
The ARENA simulation also allows the user to
construct a computer network and execute a series of cyber
attacks on target hosts within that network. The simulated
network can be multi-tiered, with several layers separated
by routers and other network hardware. Host characteristics
can be specified such as the IP address, the operating
system, and the type of Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
sensor used on the hosts (servers or client computers). Once
the network is created, attacks can be simulated manually
(by choosing the attack type, the target and the time when
the attack is launched) or automatically (by using predefined
XML attack files). Statistics on the attacks can be
collected by applying the attack details and attacker
characteristics (the attacker’s skill, stealth and efficiency
parameters) against the target network architecture.
This ARENA simulation tool is primarily used to
analyze IDS sensors. IDS sensors are deployed at specific
locations within the target network to examine network
traffic and generate alerts based on programmed rules. Not
all alerts are legitimate; some are the result of attacks, while
others are the result of non-malicious activity. The
simulation outputs an attack log, detailing the target and the
time of occurrence of each attack. The simulation also lists
which attacks triggered alerts, and for each IDS, notes the
details between the true and false positives.
Overall, this is a very well developed simulation tool
capable of simulating many forms of attack on a specific,
user-defined network. The focus on analysis of IDS sensors
makes the output of the simulation somewhat limited, but
useful nonetheless. At the end of a simulation run, the user
is presented with a list of attacks that occurred on the
simulated network and a list of the alerts reported by the
IDS sensors. This output can help analyze the target
network topology; however it offers limited benefits in
training and experimentation.
2.2. RINSE
The Real-Time Immersive Network Simulation
Environment (RINSE) is a live simulation developed by
researchers at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign
in 2006 [4]. RINSE was designed with the aim
of developing a simulation capable of supporting large-scale
wide-area networks (WAN) consisting of hundreds of localarea
networks (LAN), each administered by users. In
RINSE simulations, attacks are carried out against the WAN
and users attempt to diagnose and counter the attacks to
keep their LAN’s network services running.
Physically, the simulator consists of an enclosed
network with several users acting as LAN managers on
different computers joining the same simulation exercise.
The users are tasked with the defence of their LAN against
computer attacks carried out by the simulation tool. A game
manager coordinates the simulation and plays the role of the
Through the command prompt, the user can input
commands that fall into five different categories: attack,
defence (such as the installation of packet filters), diagnostic
networking tools (such as ping), device control (shutting
down or rebooting devices such as hosts and routers), and
simulator data.
The focus of the simulation is on external attack vectors
such as Distributed DoS (DDoS), worms and other attacks
involving high-intensity traffic flows. Simulator commands
are used to control the output of the simulation in order to
highlight the trace flow from a selected host.
RINSE also contains other useful features such as save
points and the ability to vary the pace of the simulation. In
addition, RINSE allows the game manager to adjust the
resources of simulated computers, such as memory and
CPU speed, which is important when modeling DDoS
In summary, RINSE is a very powerful and well
designed live simulation tool capable of simulating attacks
on complex networks involving a large number of network
defenders. It is limited by the small number of cyber attacks
that it can simulate. Also, the use of a command-line
interface, instead of a full graphic user interface (GUI),
makes its use cumbersome. While the tool helps with the
training and education of network defenders, it does not
contribute to the general understanding of the implications
of CNO by senior leaders.
2.3. Simulating Cyber Attacks, Defenses and
Consequences by Cohen
Simulating Cyber Attacks, Defences and Consequences
is a paper written by Fred Cohen of Sandia National
Laboratories in the year 1999 [5]. Despite its publication
more than 10 years ago, the paper’s discussion of
developments in cyber attack simulation are still largely
relevant and have helped contribute to the work on Secusim
(Section 2.4). Cohen’s simulation is constructive, runs on a
single computer and models various attacks on a simulated
Cohen simulates various attack scenarios using the
attacker’s and defender’s skills as the primary simulation
parameter. Cohen went to great lengths to classify attackers
and gives them various attributes and skill levels. Each
attack was given a classification such as vandalism,
professional-theft, military or insider action. Combining
these parameters and attributes yields 34 different classes of
attackers. Each class has a different skill level, different
predetermined attack goals and indication of their ability to
hack stealthily.
This extensive classification scheme makes the
simulation easier to understand and the results easily
analyzed for different types of computer attackers.
Unfortunately Cohen does not detail how he carried out the
classifications. Even if he made very good generalizations
about certain types of attackers, the differences between
individuals are not captured by the simulation. Nevertheless
the idea is intuitive and represents an interesting concept in
cyber attack simulations.
Interestingly, Cohen’s simulation is based on a set of 37
types of threats, 94 types of attacks, and approximately 140
types of protective methods. A database tracks the attacks
and their associated protective methods. This was seen as
very innovative as there is a variety of possible cyber
attacks and only certain defences are possible against certain
attacks. We see no evidence of validation of this extensive
classification scheme.
The output of interest in the simulation is the simulated
duration of the attack and its outcome (whether the attacker
or the defender “wins”). The attacker will win if he achieves
his goals and the defender will win if he successfully
prevents the attacker from achieving his goals. Depending
on the attacker’s goals and the respective skill level of the
attacker and defender, the simulated time of the attack can
range from minutes to years. This is comparable to real life
where attackers may try to accomplish their goals quickly or
wait months or even years for the opportunity to attack.
Cohen extends the usefulness of his simulation by
attempting to value the cost to the attacker and defender in
terms of time spent and the expense of equipment used,
focusing on the cost of a skilled defender versus an
unskilled defender. He posits that hiring a very skilled
computer administrator may be more expensive than the
loss incurred from a cyber attack. Cohen’s work in the
modeling of cost is very simplistic; nevertheless considering
the financial costs in a cyber simulation model is an idea
that may have considerable appeal.
Cohen’s simulation was ground breaking in scope,
attempting to cover many forms of cyber attack and
defence. However, Cohen admits a struggle with validating
his model as he was unable to compare his simulation with
large amounts of data from real world cyber attacks.
However, he maintains that his simulation was validated by
various experts who agreed that his model was accurate.
Nevertheless, since it has been over 10 years since Cohen
designed his simulation, and as he was unable to do much in
the way of validation, one cannot place much faith in the
accuracy of his model. Nevertheless, the ideas, concepts and
methodology in his attempt to simulate cyber attacks are all
very important and applicable to any modern simulation of
cyber attacks.
Secusim is constructive simulation software that was
developed at the Department of Computer Engineering at
Hangkong University in Korea in 2001 [6]. It was designed
for the purpose of “specifying attack mechanisms, verifying
defence mechanisms, and evaluating their consequences.” It
is programmed in C++ for use on a single computer and
includes a GUI allowing the user to create a virtual
computer network of his or her design.
The software has different modes: Basic, Intermediate,
Advanced, Professional and Application. Each mode has
different levels of functionality and customizability. The
research paper contrasts the modes as follows:
 “Basic Mode: Provides basic knowledge of cyberattack
mechanisms by retrieving the scenario database.
 Intermediate Mode: Allows the cyber attack simulation
of a given network by selecting arbitrary attacker model
and target host as well as setting the attack scenario.
 Advanced Mode: Supports direct command-level
testing of a given cyber-attack into the given network
 Professional Mode: Provides advanced analysis for link
and node vulnerability of given network by allowing
multiple cyber-attack simulation.
 Application Mode: Includes graphic editing capabilities
allowing users to create and simulate their own
customized network configurations.”
The different modes enable users without much CNO
expertise to operate the software in order to run the
simulation while giving those with more knowledge the
ability to design their own networks and test them against
multiple cyber attacks in a single simulation run.
Secusim is interesting primarily because of its
customizability and its user-friendly GUI. It builds on the
initial research of Fred Cohen and provides a good example
of simulation software used for cyber attack modeling and
2.5. Research Efforts Involving OPNET
There have been a few cyber attack simulations that use
the computer software OPNET Modeler. This commercial
simulation software is designed to aid in the analysis and
design of communication networks, devices, protocols, and
applications. The software allows the modeling of “all
network types and technologies” [7]. This includes VoIP,
TCP, OSPFv3, MPLS, and IPv6. Among OPNET’s many
features are a user interface, support for simulations
distributed across several computers and a library of device
models with source code.
OPNET’s ability to simulate computer networks makes
it an ideal basis for a cyber attack simulation [7]. In this
section, two research papers discuss the use of OPNET in
cyber attack simulations.
2.5.1. Sakhardande – SUNY
“The use of modeling and simulation to examine
network performance under Denial of Service attacks” is a
master’s thesis written by Rahul R. Sakhardande of the State
University of New York in 2008 [8]. Sakhardande modeled
a computer network in OPNET and analyzed its
performance under normal operating conditions and again
when undergoing a simulated DoS attack. The model was
fairly limited as the authors did not configure OPNET to
represent many different network topologies in order to
conduct a more thorough analysis. Furthermore,
Sakhardande was unable to properly validate his model
against real operating environments. Nevertheless, the work
shows that a model of DoS attacks on a network can be
simulated using OPNET, even if the results in this particular
instance were of limited general applicability.
2.5.2. Frequency-Based IDS
“A Frequency-Based Approach to Intrusion Detection”
is a research paper written by Mian Zhou and Sheau-Dong
Lang of the University of Central Florida in 2003 [9]. The
simulation that they created using OPNET was primarily
used to test an experimental intrusion detection algorithm.
They tested the effectiveness of the detection algorithm by
observing network intrusion data in a simulated network
using OPNET while simulating several types of DoS attacks
and probe attacks.
The two papers discussed above demonstrate that
OPNET can be used to simulate a computer network
sufficiently well for experimentation. However, OPNET
modeling efforts reported in the literature were not detailed
enough to assist in the training of network defenders or the
education of senior leaders.
2.6. NetENGINE
The Institute of Security Technology Studies at
Dartmouth College developed a cyber attack simulation tool
called NetEngine in a paper published in 2003 [10]. The tool
was designed to be a virtual simulation, involving several
users on different computers connected to the same
simulation program. NetEngine is designed to be able to
represent very large IP networks and is intended to be used
to train IT staff in combating cyber attacks.
NetEngine features a user interface where the user
views network topology maps, the simulated network’s
status, and router load plots. The software is built so that it
can be accessed through the web using an internet browser.
The simulation software itself is written in C++ and is
designed to be run on Linux machines. The simulation can
model workstations, routers, firewalls, servers, host clusters
and ISPs. Each user of the simulation is placed in charge of
a simulated domain which is a collection of hardware and
software systems on the simulated computer network.
Various cyber attacks are launched against these simulated
domains. The users are able to communicate with each other
during the simulation by using simulated email, facsimile,
telephone or instant message. These communications
processes are also vulnerable to the simulated cyber attacks.
This allows team work to play a role in the simulation.
This simulation tool does not focus on the technical
details of the attacks but instead focuses on their effects.
Therefore, the simulation implements generic attacks such
as DDoS attacks, viruses and worms but makes little attempt
to simulate attacks that rely on targeted computer exploits.
The simulated attacks are predetermined and released
according to a master driving script. This script effects state
changes in the network to simulate an attack. For example,
it can change the load level on a particular link or change
the status of routers, workstations and other devices to
simulate compromises or service degradation. Although the
master driving script contains details and release time for
each attack, these are first reviewed by an exercise
controller who can either accept or cancel the release of the
scripted attack.
NetEngine has been quite successful. It was used as the
basis of Livewire, a four day US national cyber defence
exercise conducted in October 2003. This exercise involved
over 300 participants in the US, including representatives
from the energy and finance sectors. The exercise simulated
a cyber attack against critical infrastructures which required
the participants to communicate and work together to
defend against the attacks or mitigate their impact.
NetEngine has proven to be very useful simulation software
with the ability to simulate large computer networks under
cyber attacks.
2.7. Concluding Remarks on Prominent Private Sector
and Academic Research Efforts
The private sector and academia have conducted
substantial research on cyber attack modeling. Many of the
simulations have been constructive simulations, automated
to execute without much user intervention [2,5,6,8,9]. These
provided results that enabled the discovery of general
patterns in cyber attacks but the accuracy of these results are
dependent on the models used to drive the simulation.
Unfortunately most of these models offer little in the way of
validation, a fact well captured by Fred Cohen who states
that it is very difficult to set parameter values and adjust
simulation mechanisms within a cyber attack simulation that
are validated against real world events. Similarly, the virtual
and live simulations discussed in this section may also
suffer these same problems because of poorly defined attack
scenarios [1,4,7,10,11]. It appears that live simulations are
more geared towards education than analysis of computer
attacks in general, and as such, non-validated attack details
still allow the simulations to be effective educational tools.
It is worth noting that the constructive simulations and
virtual simulations discussed above focused on the effects of
attacks on computer networks while mostly ignoring the
bigger effect they can have on an organization or nation. If
one wishes to understand these larger-scale effects (as was
the case in many live simulation efforts), it stands to reason
that the scope must be widened and the details of the attacks
must be abstracted.
Governments throughout the world, along with their
military forces, have become increasingly interested in the
applications of CNO as well as the necessity to defend
against domestic or foreign cyber attacks. By far, the largest
CNO research presented in the open literature comes from
the US, France, China and Israel. While recent events such
as StuxNet and GhostNet suggest that Israel [12] and China
[13] may have links to CNO, the open literature does not
offer much insight into their efforts. Our discussion of
public sector research will therefore not involve China or
By no means is the information presented here
complete. The majority of CNO research, especially recent
work, conducted by military forces is classified and thus
inaccessible. In this section we discuss the information on
simulations of cyber attacks that has been garnered from
public sources, through such means as press releases and
public reports, on the results of simulations. Unfortunately,
this means that even though results are sometimes
published, the specific simulation methods are not discussed
in detail.
3.1. US Cyber Command and Air Force Cyber
Operations Division
The US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is
subordinate to the US Strategic Command [14]. It acts as a
sub-unified command with service elements from the US
Army (Army Cyber Command), the US Air Force (24th US
Air Force), the US Navy (Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet)
and the US Marine Corps (Marine Forces Cyber
USCYBERCOM was formed in May 2010, when it
achieved initial operational capability. It achieved full
operational capability, meaning that it demonstrated the
ability to accomplish its mission, at the end of October 2010
[15]. Although a military audience would surely be able to
contribute much more on CYBERCOM, we offer the
following from information available in the open literature.
Its published mission statement reads:
“USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates,
synchronizes, and conducts activities to: direct the
operations and defense of specified Department of Defense
information networks and; prepare to, and when directed,
conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in
order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied
freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our
The service components listed above were in existence
before CYBERCOM was established. CYBERCOM’s status
as a sub-unified command reflects a recognition by senior
leadership that CNO affect numerous armed services, and
that effective cyber responses required coordination and
leadership. An interesting development in the evolution of
CYBERCOM is the suggestion by some authors that
because the traditional Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine
cultures have difficulty dealing with CNO, a separate branch
of service should be established for cyber operations [16].
Although one should expect much from
USCYBERCOM in the future, recent US military cyber
simulation efforts come mostly from the US Air Force.
The US Air Force modified its mission statement “to
deliver sovereign options for the defense of the US of
America and its global interests – to fly and fight in Air,
Space, and Cyberspace” in 2005. The addition of the word
“Cyberspace” has had a major impact on their subsequent
outlook toward CNO. The US Air Force has been a leading
innovator in cyber warfare [17]. Most recently, in June
2010, a new officer training course in cyber warfare has
been developed with a budget of $US 11.7 million. This
included $US 7.6m spent on upgrades of facilities, computer
infrastructure, laboratory networks and “simulators” [18].
Even though the news article announcing this
development did not specify what these simulators are, it is
known that the US Air Force has been developing and
experimenting with at least two simulation programs over
recent years: SIMTEX and CAAJED.
3.1.1. SIMTEX
The Simulator Training Exercise Network (SIMTEX) is
a simulation infrastructure used in training to automatically
simulate various computer network attacks. The simulator
mimics the three tier network architecture of the US Air
Force. It can be set up to link together multiple simulators to
form an “intra-network” [19].The simulator includes a
simulated internet with domain name resolution complete
with mimicked websites such as and
Bulwark Defender, whose previous incarnation was
known as Black Demon, is a training exercise using the
SIMTEX infrastructure. This training exercise is carried out
once a year by military services and government agencies
[20]. Participating services and agencies train against
simulated cyber enemies that attempt to steal information
and cause damage to their computer networks. Overall,
SIMTEX is widely used and is therefore an important
virtual simulation infrastructure.
3.1.2. CAAJED ‘06
While SIMTEX simulates the mechanics of an attack
on a computer network, CAAJED focuses on the bigger
picture and the kinetic effects of cyber attacks in a war
situation [21]. CAAJED is a manual integration of CNO and
cyber attacks with the US Air Force war simulator Modern
Air Power (MAP). CAAJED consists of all the features of
MAP such as the ability to play the war game as a human
versus human, human versus computer opponent, or
computer versus computer contest.
In CAAJED, the cyber attacks are not automatically
controlled by computers but are manually implemented by
operators. When the cyber attacks affect network services
the operators are instructed to disable or degrade the
associated assets. Assets (including air bases, SAM sites,
radar sites, and individual aircraft) have capabilities (such as
anti-aircraft artillery, radar coverage, ability to launch
aircraft) which can be enabled, disabled or reduced in
effectiveness through cyber attack. The users of the
simulator were not aware that the operators sitting at
consoles helped simulate the cyber attacks, but they were
able to observe effects that were consistent with the
simulated cyber attacks. Overall, while this simulation was
implemented as a proof of concept, it showed a lot of
potential as a method of more seamlessly integrating
simulated cyber attacks in a wargame. The CAAJED
simulation was used in a Cyber Defence Exercise in 2007.
This took the form of a competition between two teams
where each team only controlled the cyber warfare elements
while a constructive simulator controlled the remaining
MAP elements. The participating undergraduate teams were
scored to make the exercise more interesting to the
participants, but these scores were not analytical in nature;
they were not considered valid analytical data..
Overall, the US Air Force’s recent focus on cyber
warfare has led them to produce useful simulations. There is
a big difference between SIMTEX’s simulation of CNOs at
the network level and the bigger picture view that is
provided by the CAAJED simulation. Regardless, both
types of simulations are valuable, achieving very different
training and simulation goals.
The Information Warfare Analysis and Research
(IWAR) laboratory at the US Military Academy (USMA –
West Point, NY) is a network attack and defence simulator
used to train cadets and faculty in information warfare [22].
It is capable of simulating defences such as cryptography,
encryption and access control methods. IWAR is also able
to simulate attacks such as Trojan horses, vulnerability
scanners, viruses, worms, DoS, DDoS, and password
IWAR is more akin to a large isolated network than
simulation software. It requires extensive effort to maintain
and the set-up for each use is very complex. While in use,
IWAR requires very close monitoring and its configuration
must be adjusted to ensure that it can support the aims of the
exercise for which it is being used.
The RMC Computer Security Laboratory (RMC CSL)
uses a similar isolated network for CNO education and
training, allowing us to gain perspective into the efforts
required to run such a network. The RMC CSL isolated
network uses virtualization software to enable multiple
guests to run on a series of physical hosts. These virtual
hosts can be configured to represent the hosts on a network,
which can then be attacked and defended. The RMC CSL
infrastructure requires a full time technician to maintain
approximately seven physical hosts hosting approximately
15 – 20 guests being defended by approximately 10 – 15
participants. In addition, the RMC CSL isolated network
typically employs an attack team of some five to eight
members, and exercise coordination cell of approximately
three to five controllers. Running such an isolated network
is not cheap.
Notwithstanding the lack of automated simulation
software and resource costs involved in their use, the IWAR
and RMC CSL isolated network are very successful and
they are continuously being evolved and improved upon.
The IWAR and RMC CSL isolated networks have been
used for the NSA sponsored annual Cyber Defence Exercise
(CDX). The USMA has used IWAR since the inception of
the CDX in 2000 and the RMC CSL has used its isolated
network since 2009. The CDX is an annual competition for
the US Military, Naval, Air Force, Merchant Marine, and
Coast Guard Academies as well as the Air Force Institute of
Technology, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Royal
Military College of Canada. Each institution is tasked with
the design and implementation of a network in support of a
notional NATO operation. Each institution monitors its
network through their network operation centre, and must
respond to attacks being carried out by an NSA attack team.
3.3. Cyber Storm I, II and III
Cyber Storm I,II and Cyber Storm II were live
simulations conducted in February 2006, March 2008 and
September 2010 respectively [23-24]. The three simulation
exercises were developed by the US Department of
Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division.
Cyber Storm involved over 100 participants from industry,
military and government, mostly from the US, but also
including participants from the UK, Canada, Australia and
New Zealand. Cyber Storm II was essentially a repetition of
Cyber Storm I with more participants and different
scenarios acted out. For its part, Cyber Storm III added yet
more international, state and private sector participation.
Cyber Strom III was also the first opportunity to exercise
the National Cyber Incident Response Plan and helped test
the National Cyber Security and Communications
Integration Centre. As Cyber Storm I, II and III were very
similar, they will be discussed at the same time.
The exercise had the aim of examining the
“preparedness, response, coordination, and recovery
mechanisms to a simulated cyber event within international,
Federal, and State Governments in conjunction with the
private sector” [23]. As a result, the simulation was mostly
about education, bringing attention to the problem of
international cyber security, and assessing how well
different organizations from across the world can work
together in the face of cyber attacks.
The simulation itself saw organizations receiving cyber
attack injects related to several scenarios over the course of
four days and requiring them to work with other
organizations to develop strategies and responses to the
attacks. The simulation was not designed to test the
technical security of computer networks but instead to test
the policy response of organizations and their ability to
coordinate with other organizations. The various scenarios
involved cyber attacks on infrastructure within the Energy,
Information Technology, Transportation and
Telecommunication sectors.
Even though Cyber Storm did not focus on the actual
methodologies of cyber attacks and their prevention, it still
had great value as it simulated the effects of cyber attacks
and brought many organizations together to think about
potential cyber threats and how they would respond to them.
Highlighting the potential threat from cyber attacks, along
with practicing cooperation across industries and the public
sector, is invaluable as it better prepares the world for
potential future attacks.
3.4. DARPA National Cyber Range
The US Government’s Defence Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) announced in 2008 the creation
of a National Cyber Range (NCR). The project is intended
to become a resource available to US military forces and
government agencies for testing cyber programs. The
project is still in progress with the latest news being the
selection of two primary contractors to build and evaluate
prototype ranges.
The NCR aims to simulate cyber attacks on computer
networks and help develop strategies to defend against
them. If implemented as planned, it will be able to test host
security systems, local and wide area networks, and security
tools by integrating or simulating them within an overall
integrated system. The infrastructure of the NCR will allow
the testing of new technologies and systems, such as new
network protocols and other communications protocols,
before their actual implementation.
Unfortunately, the project is unlikely to move past the
prototyping phase. This bleak outlook is due to the fact that
military and intelligence organizations, dissatisfied with the
project’s slow progress, want to build their own cyber
ranges. For example, the US Navy wants to expand a small
range at their Network Warfare Command and the US Air
Force are planning a range dubbed “Cyber Safari” [25].
Even if DARPA’s NCR does not move past prototype
phase, its work there will be beneficial, especially if the
insights gained can be integrated within the Navy and Air
Force’s respective cyber ranges. The obvious concern
shown at DARPA’s slow progress indicates that there is a
strong desire for a large scale simulation infrastructure to
test cyber defences.
3.5. France’s Piranet
Piranet is one of the confidential defence plans of the
French government [26-27]. Unlike other French plans that
are geared specifically toward military crises such as a
chemical attack (Piratox) or a nuclear attack (Piratome),
Piranet is designed as the response to a major cyber attack
on France’s telecommunications and information systems
infrastructure which impacts the military, public and private
sectors. From 23-24 June 2010, the French government ran
a live simulation exercise (Piranet 2010) to test the Piranet
The exact details of the exercise, along with its results
are classified. However, the purpose of the exercise was to
train government teams and to validate the emergency
measures taken in order to decide if Piranet defences are
still valid. The results of the exercise may be used to adjust
the emergency response detailed in Piranet. It can be
assumed that the exercises would have been conducted in a
manner similar Cyber Storm, as the focus would have been
on the officials’ responses to attack scenarios instead of
focusing on the technical side with network defence
3.6. India’s Divine Matrix
In March 2009 the Indian Army ran a war game called
Divine Matrix [28]. The game simulated a notional nuclear
attack by China on India in 2017. Beyond the more
traditional war mechanics that were applied in the
simulation; it is noteworthy that Divine Matrix simulated a
massive cyber attack on India prior to the launch of any
physical attacks. The cyber attacks had a kinetic result on
the simulation, for example: the attacks disabled
communication systems, damaged banking systems and
disabled power grids. The simulated attacks highlighted the
need for cyber defence to senior Indian military leadership.
3.7. Concluding Remarks on Public Sector Research
Governments throughout the world are becoming
increasingly concerned with CNO. This concern is
demonstrated by an increase in training for defence against
particular attack scenarios and the preparation of
contingency plans. Some of the most interesting work
conducted in the public sector has been done by the US Air
Force who has been using virtual and constructive
simulations to train for cyber attacks. The US Air Force has
been experimenting with network defence simulations in
SIMTEX, as well as focusing on the more global effect of
cyber warfare by integrating cyber attack scenarios within
existing war game simulators such as Modern Air Power.
Furthermore, work in developing an experimental
infrastructure to simulate cyber attack defences is on-going,
as demonstrated in the efforts to develop the National Cyber
Range as well as other military divisions’ work to build
their own cyber ranges. Finally, the reader should note that
simulation and training for CNO is a resource intensive
There has been considerable interest in the private and
public sectors (including military forces) in the development
of simulations of cyber attacks and CNO. Significant
progress has already been made. Regrettably there appears
to be very little coordination and cooperation across private
sector organizations and governments in the development of
effective cyber attack simulations. Some simulations share
common traits and achieve similar results, which suggests
that redundant work and research is being conducted.
Many of the simulations have had very different goals
from each other. Costantini [3] and Cohen’s work [5] were
aimed at analyzing patterns and learning about cyber
attacks, whereas CAPP [11] was aimed at highlighting the
importance of cyber defence. Other simulations were
entirely intended as training systems such as CAAJED [21],
IWAR [22] and NetEngine [10]. Nevertheless, out of all the
simulations discussed, very few attempted to integrate the
technical details of cyber attacks with the global effect of
CNO. Such integration, should it be developed, would result
in an increased understanding and awareness of the threat
cyber attacks pose to the world.
[1] Chapman, I., Leblanc, S.P., Partington, A., “Taxonomy of Cyber
Attacks and Simulation of their Effects” Proceedings of the 2010
Military Modeling and Simulation Symposium (MMS’11), (2011).
[2] Kuhl, M. E., Kistner, J., Costantini, K., & Sudit, M. (2007). Cyber
attack modeling and simulation for network security
analysis. Proceedings of the 2007 winter simulation conference (pp.
[3] Costantini, K. C. (2007). Development of a cyber attack simulator for
network modeling and cyber security analysis. Unpublished
manuscript, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering,
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. Retrieved
[4] Liljenstam, M., & Liu, J. (2006). Rinse: the real-time immersive
network simulation environment for network security exercises
(extended version). SIMULATION, 82(1), 43-59.
[5] Cohen, F. (1999). Simulating cyber attacks, defences, and
consequences. Computers & Security (pp. 479-518). Elsevier Science
[6] Park, J. S., Lee, J., K, H. K., Jeong, J., Yeom, D., & Chi S. (2001).
Secusim: a tool for the cyber-attack simulation. Information and
Communications Security (pp. 471-475). Heidelberg: Springer Berlin
[7] Network simulation. (2010). Retrieved from
[8] Sakhardande, R. R. (2008). The use of modeling and simulation to
examine network performance under denial of service attacks.
Unpublished manuscript, Department of Telecommunications, SUNY
Institute of Technology, Utica, NY.
[9] Zhou, M., & Lang, S. (2003). A Frequency-based approach to
intrusion detection. Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 2(3), 52-
[10] Brown, B., Cutts, A., McGrath, D., Nicol, D. M., Smith, T. P., &
Tofel, B. (2003). Simulation of cyber attacks with applications in
homeland defense training. In E. M. Carapezza (Ed.), Sensors, and
command, control, communications, and intelligence (c3i)
technologies for homeland defense and law enforcement ii (pp. 63-
[11] FS-ISAC. (2010, June). 2010 capp exercise executive summary.
Retrieved from
[12] Semantec, “W32.StuxNet dossier”, Available from:
[13] Northrup-Gruman, “Capability of the People’s Republic of China to
Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation”.
Available from: Northrup-Gruman, “Capability of the People’s
Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network
Exploitation”. Available from:
[14] US Cyber Command Fact Sheet (2011, February). Retrieved from
[15] Cyber Command Achieves Full Operational Capability, US DOD
News Release No. 1012-10, (3 November 2010), Retrieved from
[16] G. Conti and B. Surdu; “Army, Navy, Air Force, Cyber: Is it Time for
a Cyberwarfare Branch of the Military;” Information Assurance
Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 2009, pp. 14–18. Retrieved from:

[17] Gettle, M. (2005, December 14). Air force releases new mission
statement. Retrieved from
[18] Griggs, S. (2010, June 16). New officer course boosts cyberspace
transformation. Retrieved from
[19] McBride, A. (2007, June). Air force cyber warfare training. The
Defense Standardization Program Journal, 9-13.
[20] Hernandez, J. (2010, March 2). The Human element complicates
cybersecurity. Retrieved from
[21] Mudge, R. S., & Lingley, S. (2008). Cyber and air joint effects
demonstration (caajed). Unpublished manuscript, Air Force Research
Laboratory, Information Directorate, Rome Research Site, Rome,
NY. Retrieved from
[22] Lathrop, S. D., Conti, G. J., & Ragsdale, D. J. (2002). Information
warfare in the trenches. Unpublished manuscript, US Military
Academy, West Point, NY. Retrieved from
[23] Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Division.
(2006). Cyber storm exercise report. Retrieved from
[24] Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Division.
(2010). Cyber storm exercise report. Retrieved from
[25] Fulghum, D. A. (2010, June 21). Battle for cyber-range: military
dumps darpa. Retrieved from
[26] Naudon, M. (2010, June 25). Exercice piranet 2010. Retrieved from
[27] Morel, I. (2006, October). Les exercices de crise ssi. Sécurité
Informatique, 57, Retrieved from
[28] Singh, R. (2009, March 26). Divine matrix: indian army fears china
attack by 2017. Retrieved from
Sylvain (Sly) Leblanc is an Assistant Professor at the
Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC). He obtained
his Master’s of Engineering in Software Engineering from
RMCC in 2000, where he is also a doctoral candidate. Sly
was a Canadian Army Signals Officer for over 20 years,
where he developed his interest in computer network
operations. His research interests are in computer security
and computer network operations.
Ian Chapman is a defence scientist with the Defence
Research and Development Canada Centre for Operational
Research and Analysis in Ottawa, Canada. Mr. Chapman’s
work has included analytical support to a number of
modeling and simulation activities at the Canadian Army
Experimentation Centre and is now working with the
Canadian Cyber Task Force to determine the effects of
cyber attacks on military mission effectiveness.
Andrew Partington is in his final year of undergraduate
studies, studying for his Bachelor of Engineering with
Honors in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of
Canterbury in New Zealand. He was a recent participant in a
university exchange program, studying at Queen’s
University in Canada for a year in 2010. During the
exchange he worked full time in the summer and part time
during the school year at the Royal Military College of
Canada researching computer network operations and
Melanie Bernier is a Defense Scientist with the Defence
Research and Development Canada’s Center for Operational
Research and Analysis in Ottawa, Canada. She has
experience in modeling and simulation of land forces
requirements, concept development and experimentation,
joint C4ISR, and computer networks. Most recently, she has
been leading studies in force development for the cyber
Download and read the following articles available in the ACM Digital Library:

Bernier, M., Chapman, I., Leblanc, S. P., &Partington, A. (2011).An overview of cyber-attack and computer network operations simulation.Proceedings from MMS ’11: Military Modeling & Simulation Symposium.Boston, MA.

Maughan, D. (2010, February). The need for a national cybersecurity research and development agenda.Communications of the ACM, 53(2), 29-31.

Write a four to five (6-7) page paper in which you:
1. Identify at least three (3) benefits or key knowledge points that could be derived from using cyber-attack simulator systems and research, and suggest how this insight could assist in defining the needs for security within an organization.
2. Analyze and determine which sector, public or private, has greater insight on the potential of cyberattacks. Justify your answer by citing at least three (3) examples.
3. Suggest at least four (4) best practices that should be implemented when developing a cybersecurity strategy within a security enterprise. Then, evaluate the required roles and functions of Information Technology (IT) personnel that would be required to sustain these best practices.
4. Describe the role of planning when developing a cybersecurity strategy and what key deliverables would ensure an effective implementation and transition.
5. Suggest how public-private partnerships can strengthen cybersecurity efforts and effectiveness in a:
a. Corporate environment
b. Regional level
c. National level
6. Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
• Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
• Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
• Evaluate the ethical concerns inherent in cybersecurity and how these concerns affect organizational policies.
• Describe the corollary roles of security in an enterprise.
• Describe best practices in cybersecurity.
• Use technology and information resources to research issues in cybersecurity.
• Write clearly and concisely about topics associated with cybersecurity using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.

Inside Risks
The Need for a National
Cybersecurity Research and
Development Agenda
Government-funded initiatives, in cooperation with private-sector partners in
key technology areas, are fundamental to cybersecurity technical transformation.
doi:10.1145/1646353.1646365 Douglas Maughan
President Barack Obama greets White House Cyber Security Chief Howard A. Schmidt, who
was appointed in December 2009.
art in
30 communications of the acm | February 2010 | vol. 53 | no. 2
opment, and education, as well as investing
in “leap-ahead” technologies.
No single federal agency “owns”
the issue of cybersecurity. In fact, the
federal government does not uniquely
own cybersecurity. It is a national and
global challenge with far-reaching
consequences that requires a cooperative,
comprehensive effort across the
public and private sectors. However,
as it has done historically, the U.S. government
R&D community, working in
close cooperation with private-sector
partners in key technology areas, can
jump-start the necessary fundamental
technical transformation.
The federal government must reenergize
two key partnerships to successfully
secure the future cyberspace: the
partnership with the educational system
and the partnership with the private
sector. The Taulbee Survey2
has shown
that our current educational system is
not producing the cyberspace workers
of the future and the current publicprivate
partnerships are inadequate for
taking R&D results and deploying them
across the global infrastructure.
Education. A serious, long-term
problem with ramifications for national
security and economic growth is
looming: there are not enough U.S. citizens
with computer science (CS) and
science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM) degrees being
produced. The decline in CS enrollments
and degrees is most acute. The
decline in undergraduate CS degrees
portends the decline in master’s and
doctoral degrees as well. Enrollments
in major university CS departments
have fallen sharply in the last few years,
while the demand for computer scientists
and software engineers is high
and growing. The Taulbee Survey2
confirmed that CS (including computer
engineering) enrollments are down
50% from only five years ago, a precipitous
drop by any measure. Since
CS degrees are a subset of the overall
requirement for STEM degrees and
show the most significant downturn,
CS degree production can be considered
a bellwether to the overall condition
and trend of STEM education. The
problems with other STEM degrees are
equally disconcerting and require immediate
and effective action. At the
same time, STEM jobs are growing,
and CS jobs are growing faster than
the national average.
At a time when the U.S. experiences
cyberattacks daily and as global competition
continues to increase, the U.S.
cannot afford continued ineffective educational
measures and programs. Revitalizing
educational systems can take
years before results are seen. As part of
an overall national cybersecurity R&D
agenda, the U.S. must incite an extraordinary
shift in the number of students
in STEM education quickly to avoid a
serious shortage of computer scientists,
engineers, and technologists in
the decades to come.
Public-Private Partnerships. Information
and communications networks
are largely owned and operated
by the private sector, both nationally
and internationally. Thus, addressing
cybersecurity issues requires publicprivate
partnerships as well as international
cooperation. The public and
private sector interests are dependent
on each other and share a responsibility
for ensuring a secure, reliable infrastructure.
As the federal government
moves forward to enhance its partnerships
with the private sector, research
and development must be included in
the discussion. More and more privatesector
R&D is falling by the wayside
and, therefore, it is even more important
that government-funded R&D can
make its way to the private sector, given
it designs, builds, owns, and operates
most of the critical infrastructures.
Technical Agenda
Over the past decade there have been
a significant number of R&D agendas
published by various academic and industry
groups, and government departments
and agencies (these documents
can be found online at http://www.cyber. A 2006
federal R&D plan identified at least
eight areas of interest with over 50
project topics that were either being
funded or should be funded by federal
R&D entities. Many of these topic areas
have been on the various lists for over a
decade. Why? Because the U.S. has underinvested
in these R&D areas, both
within the government and private
R&D communities.
The Comprehensive National Cyber
Initiative (CNCI) and the President’s
Cyberspace Policy Review3
challenged the federal networks and
IT research community to figure out
how to “change the game” to address
these technical issues. Over the past
year, through the National Cyber Leap
Year (NCLY) Summit and a wide range
of other activities, the U.S. government
research community sought to elicit
the best ideas from the research and
technology community. The vision of
the CNCI research community over the
next 10 years is to “transform the cyberinfrastructure
to be resistant to attack
so that critical national interests are
protected from catastrophic damage
and our society can confidently adopt
new technological advances.”
The leap-ahead strategy aligns with
the consensus of the U.S. networking
and cybersecurity research communities:
That the only long-term solution to
the vulnerabilities of today’s networking
and information technologies is to
ensure that future generations of these
technologies are designed with security
built in from the ground up. Federal
agencies with mission-critical needs
for increased cybersecurity, which includes
information assurance as well as
network and system security, can play a
direct role in determining research priorities
and assessing emerging technology
The Department of Homeland Security
Science and Technology Directorate
has published its own roadmap in
an effort to provide more R&D direction
for the community. The Cybersecurity
Research Roadmap1
addresses a broad
R&D agenda that is required to enable
production of the technologies that will
protect future information systems and
The current publicprivate
are inadequate for
taking R&D results
and deploying them
across the global
february 2010 | vol. 53 | no. 2 | communications of the acm 31
networks. The document provides detailed
research and development agendas
relating to 11 hard problem areas
in cybersecurity, for use by agencies of
the U.S. government. The research topics
in this roadmap, however, are relevant
not just to the governments, but
also to the private sector and anyone
else funding or performing R&D.
While progress in any of the areas
identified in the reports noted previously
would be valuable, I believe the “top
10” list consists of the following (with
short rationale included):
1. Software Assurance: poorly written
software is at the root of all of our
security problems;
2. Metrics: we cannot measure our
systems, thus we cannot manage them;
3. Usable Security: information security
technologies have not been deployed
because they are not easily usable;
4. Identity Management: the ability
to know who you are communicating
with will help eliminate many of today’s
online problems, including attribution;
5. Malware: today’s problems continue
because of a lack of dealing with malicious
software and its perpetrators;
6. Insider Threat: one of the biggest
threats to all sectors that has not been
adequately addressed;
7. Hardware Security: today’s computing
systems can be improved with
new thinking about the next generation
of hardware built from the start with security
in mind;
8. Data Provenance: data has the
most value, yet we have no mechanisms
to know what has happened to data
from its inception;
9. Trustworthy Systems: current systems
are unable to provide assurances
of correct operation to include resiliency;
10. Cyber Economics: we do not understand
the economics behind cybersecurity
for either the good guy or the
bad guy.
Life Cycle of Innovation
R&D programs, including cybersecurity
R&D, consistently have difficulty
in taking the research through a path
of development, testing, evaluation,
and transition into operational environments.
Past experience shows that
transition plans developed and applied
early in the life cycle of the research
program, with probable transition
paths for the research product, are effective
in achieving successful transfer
from research to application and use.
It is equally important, however, to acknowledge
that these plans are subject
to change and must be reviewed often.
It is also important to note that different
technologies are better suited for
different technology transition paths
and in some instances the choice of the
transition path will mean success or
failure for the ultimate product. There
are guiding principles for transitioning
research products. These principles involve
lessons learned about the effects
of time/schedule, budgets, customer
or end-user participation, demonstrations,
testing and evaluation, product
partnerships, and other factors.
A July 2007 U.S. Department of Defense
Report to Congress on Technology
Transition noted there is evidence
that a chasm exists between the DoD
S&T communities and acquisition of
a system prototype demonstration in
an operational environment. DOD is
not the only government agency that
struggles with technology transition.
That chasm, commonly referred to as
the “valley of death,” can be bridged
only through cooperative efforts and
investments by both research and acquisition
There are at least five canonical transition
paths for research funded by the
federal government. These transition
paths are affected by the nature of the
technology, the intended end user, participants
in the research program, and
other external circumstances. Success
in research product transition is often
accomplished by the dedication of the
program manager through opportunistic
channels of demonstration, partnering,
and sometimes good fortune.
However, no single approach is more
effective than a proactive technology
champion who is allowed the freedom
to seek potential utilization of the research
product. The five canonical transition
paths are:
˲ Department/Agency direct to
˲ Department/Agency to
Government Lab
˲ Department/Agency to Industry
˲ Department/Agency to
Academia to Industry
˲ Department/Agency to
Open Source Community
In order to achieve the full results of
R&D, technology transfer needs to be
a key consideration for all R&D investments.
This requires the federal government
to move past working models
where most R&D programs support only
limited operational evaluations and experiments.
In these old working models,
most R&D program managers consider
their job done with final reports,
and most research performers consider
their job done with publications. In order
to move forward, government-funded
R&D activities must focus on the real
goal: technology transfer, which follows
transition. Current R&D principal investigators
(PIs) and program managers
(PMs) aren’t rewarded for technology
transfer. Academic PIs are rewarded for
publications, not technology transfer.
The government R&D community must
reward government program managers
and PIs for transition progress.
As noted in the White House Cyberspace
Policy Review,3
an updated national
strategy for securing cyberspace
is needed. Research and development
must be a full partner in that discussion.
It is only through innovation creation
that the U.S. can regain its position
as a leader in cyberspace.
1. A Roadmap for Cybersecurity Research, Department
of Homeland Security Science and Technology
Directorate, November 2009;
2. Taulbee Survey 2006–2007, Computing Research News
20, 3. Computer Research Association, May 2008.
3. White House Cyberspace Policy Review; http://www.
Douglas Maughan ( is a
program manager for cybersecurity R&D at the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.
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