Highly available information networks are an essential component of the modern society. Targeted attacks are a key threat to the availability of these networks. Targeted attacks exploit weak components in network infrastructure and attack them, triggering side-effects that harm the ultimate victim. Such attacks are often carried out using botnets, comprising many compromised computers. Botnets are programmable allowing the attacker to evolve and adapt to defences developed by infrastructure providers. But network infrastructure is largely static and cannot adapt to a fast evolving attacker.

To design effective responses, a programmable network infrastructure enabling large-scale cooperation is necessary. This project aim to create secure network infrastructure which (1) detects targeted attacks on itself; (2) automatically restructures the infrastructure to maximise attack resilience and (3) self-verifies that properties of safety and correctness can be assured.

Our research will examine techniques to collect and merge inferences across distributed vantage points within a network whilst minimising risks to user privacy from data-aggregation using novel privacy techniques by itself. We also address the risks introduced by programmability itself, by developing smart assurance techniques that can verify evidence of good intention before the infrastructure is reprogrammed.

This is a joint project between the University of Edinburgh and Lancaster University.