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CUPIDS: Increasing Information System Security Through the Use of Dedicated Co-Processing

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Doctoral thesis

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Most past and present intrusion detection systems architectures assume a uniprocessor environment or do not explicitly make use of multiple processors when they exist. Yet, especially in the server world, multiple processor machines are commonplace and with the advent of technologies such as Intel and AMDs multi-core or Hyperthreading technologies, commodity computers are likely to have multiple processors. This research explores how explicitly dividing the system into production and security components and running the components in parallel on different processors can improve the effectiveness of the security system. The production component contains all user tasks and most of the operating system while the security component contains security monitoring and validating tasks and the parts of the OS that pertain to security. We demonstrate that under some circumstances this architecture allows intrusion detection systems to use monitoring models with higher fidelity, particularly with regard to the timeliness of detection, and will also increase system robustness in the face of some types of attacks. Empirical results with a prototype co-processing intrusion detection system CuPIDS architecture support the feasibility of this approach. The construction of the prototype allowed us to demonstrate the implementation costs of the architecture are reasonable. Experimentation using fine-grained protection of real-world applications resulted in about a fifteen percent slowdown while demonstrating CuPIDS ability to quickly detect and respond to illegitimate behavior.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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