UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Security analysis and intrusion detection for embedded systems : a case study of smart meters Molazem Tabrizi, Farid


Embedded systems are widely used in critical situations and hence, are targets for malicious users. Researchers have demonstrated successful attacks against embedded systems used in power grids, modern cars, and medical devices. Hence, it is imperative to develop techniques to improve security of these devices. However, embedded devices have constraints (such as limited memory capacity) that make building security mechanisms for them challenging. In this thesis, we formulate building Intrusion Detection System (IDS) for embedded systems as an optimization problem. We develop algorithms that, given the set of the security properties of the system and the invariants that verify those properties, build an IDS that maximizes the coverage for the security properties, with respect to the available memory. This allows our IDS to be applicable to a wide range of embedded devices with di erent memory capacities. Furthermore, we develop techniques to analyze security of both design and implementation of embedded systems. Given a set of capabilities of attackers, we automatically analyze the system and identify ways an adversary may tamper with the system. This will help developers discover new attacks, and improve the design and implementation of the system.

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