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Complex network security analysis based on attack graph

Musa, Tanvirali (2015). Complex network security analysis based on attack graph. Master of Engineering Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Musa, Tanvirali
Title Complex network security analysis based on attack graph
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2015
Thesis Type Master of Engineering
Subjects ENGINEERING
080309 - Software Engineering
Abstract Computer network these days tend to grow over size increasing vulnerable points of network. To assess the stability and security of computer network, one might not understand those minute points of susceptibility with high volumes of generated reports. With complex networks in place and increase in population of mobile network nodes, the report might likely turn into pages of data than information as the issues cannot be addressed at a single go. Every organization performs security analysis for safe guarding their networks but there is gap in the process which is being followed. Organizations perform Vulnerability assessments (VA scans) on their complex networks. The output of VA scans will be a report on individual hosts and its vulnerabilities. Though the report makes some sense but with respect to the aspect of security we cannot prioritize the host based on the vulnerabilities because we are not sure from where the attack happens. So this gap is filled with attack graphs where the output of the VA will be processed to attack graph generation tools which generates attack graphs. It provides us the bird view over the entire network. Yet, there comes another problem as the VA report being processed in attack graph tools without any evaluation which leads to generate graph out of raw report. Evaluation of the VA report has to be performed for providing precise and potential data to be processed into the attack graph tools for accurate results.

A visual approach, precisely speaking a graphical model of depicting the devices and the data flow can really surge the speed of zeroing in to weak nodes of the chain. The Attack graph model collects data based on vulnerability reports and will mine the data for key nodes and routes to project an overview of networks liability. This can be restricted and configured to network pools that are identified important at a later stage after assessment. The proposed approach will target those vulnerabilities which can be exploited remotely with risk factor “Critical” & “High” with CVSS base Score between “10.0-7.0”. These critical vulnerability selection rules will be applied in vulnerability scanners and the report exported will only be with the selected data based on critical severity parameters. The same will be processed into the attack graph tool. This approach not only reduces the complexity to most extent but also provides genuine information related to gaps where an attacker can sneak into the network.
Keyword Network analysis
Network vulnerabilities
Attack graph
network scanning tools
Attack graph generation tools


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