Contego: An adaptive framework for integrating security tasks in real-time systems

Monowar Hasan, Sibin Mohan, Rodolfo Pellizzoni, Rakesh B. Bobba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Embedded real-time systems (RTS) are pervasive. Many modern RTS are exposed to unknown security flaws, and threats to RTS are growing in both number and sophistication. However, until recently, cyber-security considerations were an afterthought in the design of such systems. Any security mechanisms integrated into RTS must (a) co-exist with the real-time tasks in the system and (b) operate without impacting the timing and safety constraints of the control logic. We introduce Contego, an approach to integrating security tasks into RTS without affecting temporal requirements. Contego is specifically designed for legacy systems, viz., the real-time control systems in which major alterations of the system parameters for constituent tasks is not always feasible. Contego combines the concept of opportunistic execution with hierarchical scheduling to maintain compatibility with legacy systems while still providing flexibility by allowing security tasks to operate in different modes. We also define a metric to measure the effectiveness of such integration. We evaluate Contego using synthetic workloads as well as with an implementation on a realistic embedded platform (an open-source ARM CPU running real-time Linux).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication29th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems, ECRTS 2017
EditorsMarko Bertogna
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
Number of pages2092
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770378
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Event29th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems, ECRTS 2017 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: Jun 28 2017Jun 30 2017

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Other29th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems, ECRTS 2017


  • Hierarchical scheduling
  • Real-time systems
  • Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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