A Probabilistic Logic of Cyber Deception

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Malicious attackers often scan nodes in a network in order to identify vulnerabilities that they may exploit as they traverse the network. In this paper, we propose that the system generates a mix of true and false answers in response to scan requests. If the attacker believes that all scan results are true, then he will be on a wrong path. If he believes some scan results are faked, he would have to expend time and effort in order to separate fact from fiction. We propose a probabilistic logic of deception and show that various computations are NP-hard. We model the attacker’s state and show the effects of faked scan results. We then show how the defender can generate fake scan results in different states that minimize the damage the attacker can produce. We develop a Naive-PLD algorithm and a Fast-PLD heuristic algorithm for the defender to use and show experimentally that the latter performs well in a fraction of the run time of the former. We ran detailed experiments to assess the performance of these algorithms and further show that by running Fast-PLD off-line and storing the results, we can very efficiently answer run-time scan requests.