Charles River Analytics Incorporates Game Theory and Cyber Modeling in Cyber Defense Tool for US Air Force

Image of chess pieces and circuit board, illustration for Charles River Analytics SHEATH project.

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, is building a cyber defense tool for the US Air Force. Under the Game-Theoretic Reasoning and Analysis of Vulnerability (GRAVITY) effort, Charles River is identifying vulnerabilities in strategic systems and increasing these systems’ resilience to cyber attacks.

ChessModern adversaries are advancing their proficiency in cyber attacks against US cyber networks. The threat is particularly challenging for the military’s strategic systems, which often depend on networked technologies or embedded systems.

“Like many of our DoD systems, strategic weapons systems can be vulnerable to cyber attacks, lowering many of the barriers for adversaries trying to disable or disrupt US nuclear strategy,” said Dr. Amy Sliva, Senior Scientist at Charles River. “Under GRAVITY, we are researching ways to augment our cyber defenses with game-theoretic tools that identify cyber vulnerabilities to strategic systems and quantify the effects. This ability will enable cyber defenders to increase the resilience of our network infrastructure and security of critical weapons systems.”

GRAVITY is a game-theoretic vulnerability analysis platform that executes rich models of adversary and defender behaviors. It enables analysts to identify, visualize, and prioritize vulnerabilities and defensive counterstrategies

Our approach in GRAVITY is similar to our development of game-theoretic models of Gray Zone activities under DARPA’s BELIEVES and Causal Exploration programs. We are developing tools to analyze and respond to adversary strategies, such as cyber attacks, that exist in the gray space between peace and conflict.

We are using our probabilistic programming language, Figaro™, to build probabilistic relational models of complex network systems and their impact on strategic weapons. To construct a framework modeling realistic behavior, we are using our Cyber Adversary Modeling and Simulation toolkit, CyMod.

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Air Force under Contract No. FA8650-17-P-6840. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force.

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