MiniCPS: A toolkit for security research on CPS networks

Block diagram of MiniCPS


In recent years, tremendous effort has been spent to modernizing communication infrastructure in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) such as Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and related Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. While a great amount of research has been conducted on network security of office and home networks, recently the security of CPS and related systems has gained increased attention. Unfortunately, real-world CPS are often not open to security researchers, and as a result very few reference physical-layer processes, control systems and communication topologies are available. In this work, we present MiniCPS, a toolkit intended to alleviate this problem. The goal of MiniCPS is to create an extensible, reproducible research environment for network communications, control systems, and physical-layer interactions in CPS. Instead of focusing on a customized simulation settings for specific subsystems, the main goal is to establish a framework to connect together real CPS soft- and hardware, simulation scripts for such components, and physical-layer simulation engines. MiniCPS builds on Mininet to provide lightweight real-time network emulation, and extends Mininet with tools to simulate typical CPS components such as programmable logic controllers, which use industrial protocols (eg. EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP). To capture physical-layer interactions, MiniCPS defines a simple API to connect to physical-layer simulations. We demonstrate applications of MiniCPS in two example scenarios, and show how MiniCPS can be used to develop attacks and defenses that are directly applicable to real systems.

Proceedings of the First ACM Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems-Security and/or Privacy (co-located with CCS)
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