Extending AADL for Security Design Assurance of Cyber-Physical Systems
December 2015 • Technical Report
Robert J. Ellison, Allen D. Householder, John J. Hudak, Rick Kazman, Carol Woody
This report demonstrates the viability and limitations of using the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) through an extended example that allows for specifying and analyzing the security properties of an automotive electronics system.
Software Engineering Institute
CMU/SEI Report Number
Attacks such as the one that compromised the control systems for Iranian centrifuges demonstrate a growing need to improve the design of security in cyber-physical systems. While much of the work on security has focused on coding, many of the common weaknesses that lead to successful attacks are actually introduced by design. This technical report shows how important system-wide security properties can and must be described and validated at the architectural level. This is done through the adoption and use of the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) and a further extension of it to describe security properties. This report demonstrates the viability and limitations of this approach through an extended example that allows for specifying and analyzing the security properties of an automotive electronics system.
The report begins with a modeling of threats using the Microsoft STRIDE framework and then translates them into attack scenarios. Next, the report describes—as AADL components, relationships, and properties—the architectural structures, services, and properties needed to guard against such attacks. Finally, the report shows how these properties can be validated at design time using a model checker such as Resolute and discusses the limitations of this approach in addressing common security weaknesses.