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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051643

Analyzing Cyber-Physical Threats on Robotic Platforms

1
Department of Computer Engineering, The Hashemite University, Zarqa 13115, Jordan
2
Department of Computer Engineering, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Ahmad Yousef, K.; AlMajali, A.; Hasan, R.; Dweik,W.; Mohd, B. Security risk assessment of the PeopleBot mobile robot research platform. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Electrical and Computing Technologies and Applications (ICECTA), Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 21–23 November 2017.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Security, Trust and Privacy for Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

Robots are increasingly involved in our daily lives. Fundamental to robots are the communication link (or stream) and the applications that connect the robots to their clients or users. Such communication link and applications are usually supported through client/server network connection. This networking system is amenable of being attacked and vulnerable to the security threats. Ensuring security and privacy for robotic platforms is thus critical, as failures and attacks could have devastating consequences. In this paper, we examine several cyber-physical security threats that are unique to the robotic platforms; specifically the communication link and the applications. Threats target integrity, availability and confidential security requirements of the robotic platforms, which use MobileEyes/arnlServer client/server applications. A robot attack tool (RAT) was developed to perform specific security attacks. An impact-oriented approach was adopted to analyze the assessment results of the attacks. Tests and experiments of attacks were conducted in simulation environment and physically on the robot. The simulation environment was based on MobileSim; a software tool for simulating, debugging and experimenting on MobileRobots/ActivMedia platforms and their environments. The robot platform PeopleBotTM was used for physical experiments. The analysis and testing results show that certain attacks were successful at breaching the robot security. Integrity attacks modified commands and manipulated the robot behavior. Availability attacks were able to cause Denial-of-Service (DoS) and the robot was not responsive to MobileEyes commands. Integrity and availability attacks caused sensitive information on the robot to be hijacked. To mitigate security threats, we provide possible mitigation techniques and suggestions to raise awareness of threats on the robotic platforms, especially when the robots are involved in critical missions or applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile robot; robotic platform; cyper-physical systems; threats; security; risk management; risk assessment mobile robot; robotic platform; cyper-physical systems; threats; security; risk management; risk assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ahmad Yousef, K.M.; AlMajali, A.; Ghalyon, S.A.; Dweik, W.; Mohd, B.J. Analyzing Cyber-Physical Threats on Robotic Platforms. Sensors 2018, 18, 1643.

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