Security and science of agility

Patrick McDaniel, Trent Jaeger, Thomas F. La Porta, Nicolas Papernot, Robert J. Walls, Alexander Kott, Lisa Marvel, Ananthram Swami, Prasant Mohapatra, Srikanth V. Krishnamurthy, Iulian Neamtiu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Moving target defenses alter the environment in response to adversarial action and perceived threats. Such defenses are a specific example of a broader class of system management techniques called system agility. In its fullest generality, agility is any reasoned modification to a system or environment in response to a functional, performance, or security need. This paper details a recently launched 10-year Cyber-Security Collaborative Research Alliance effort focused in-part on the development of a new science of system agility, of which moving target defenses are a central theme. In this context, the consortium seeks to address the questions of when, what, and how to employ changes to improve the security of an environment, as well as consider how to measure and weigh the effectiveness of different approaches to agility. We discuss several fundamental challenges in developing and using MTD maneuvers, and outline several broad classes of mechanisms that can be used to implement them. We conclude by detailing specific MTD mechanisms used to adaptively quarantine vulnerable code in Android applications, and consider ways of comparing cost and payout of its use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Issue numberNovember
StatePublished - Nov 7 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event1st ACM Workshop on Moving Target Defense, MTD 2014 - Co-located with 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2014 - Scottsdale, United States
Duration: Nov 3 2014 → …

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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