Time-based intrusion detection in cyber-physical systems

Christopher Zimmer, Balasubramanya Bhat, Frank Mueller, Sibin Mohan

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


Embedded systems, particularly real-time systems with temporal constraints, are increasingly deployed in every day life. Such systems that interact with the physical world are also referred to as cyber-physical systems (CPS). These systems commonly find use in critical infrastructure from transportation to health care. While security in CPS-based real-time embedded systems has been an afterthought, it is becoming a critical issue as these systems are increasingly networked and inter-dependent. The advancement in their functionality has resulted in more conspicuous interfaces that may be exploited to attack them. In this paper, we present three mechanisms for time-based intrusion detection. More specifically, we detect the execution of unauthorized instructions in real-time CPS environments. Such intrusion detection utilizes information obtained by static timing analysis. For real-time CPS systems, timing bounds on code sections are readily available as they are already determined prior to the schedulability analysis. We demonstrate how to provide micro-timings for multiple granularity levels of application code. Through bounds checking of these micro-timings, we develop techniques to detect intrusions (1) in a self-checking manner by the application and (2) through the operating system scheduler, which are novel contributions to the real-time/embedded systems domain to the best of our knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS '10
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Event1st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2010 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: Apr 13 2010Apr 15 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 1st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS '10


Other1st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2010


  • cyber-physical systems
  • real-time systems
  • security
  • timing analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Time-based intrusion detection in cyber-physical systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this