Special Issue "Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information and Communications Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Emil Pricop
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Automatic Control, Computers & Electronic Department, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiești, Ploiești, Romania
Interests: cyber security; industrial control system security; sensor networks; system resilience; system safety; smart technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Grigore Stamatescu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Automation and Industrial Informatics, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers, University “Politehnica” of Bucharest, 313 Splaiul Independentei, 060042 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: networked-embedded sensing; information processing; control engineering; building automation; smart city; data analytics; computational intelligence; industry and energy applications
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jaouhar Fattahi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Computer Science and Software Engineering Department, Laval University, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Interests: cryptographic protocols; anomaly and intrusion detection; machine learning; deep learning; cyber security; pen testing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will present high-quality papers on systems safety and security. It will be focused especially on extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Workshop on Systems Safety and Security—IWSSS, but other valuable and relevant contributions in this field could be submitted.

The International Workshop on Systems Safety and Security was initiated in 2013 by an enthusiastic researchers’ team. IWSSS 2019 is the 7th edition of the workshop, which has proven to be a prestigious scientific event.

The previous editions of our workshop brought together renowned professors and researchers, practitioners, and implementers from industry, young scientists and specialists from all over the world, making IWSSS a real bridge between academia and industry.

We warmly invite researchers to submit their contributions to this Special Issue. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • systems security and safety;
  • industrial control systems resilience;
  • formal methods for security;
  • data security and privacy in critical systems;
  • physical and logical access control;
  • biometric identification of persons;
  • malware detection, modeling, and analysis methods;
  • security assessment, pen-testing, vulnerability evaluation;
  • wireless sensor networks security;
  • artificial intelligence used in the field of safety and security;
  • industrial control systems security;
  • assets tracking, monitoring, and surveillance solutions;
  • advanced encryption techniques.

Authors of invited papers should be aware that the final submitted manuscript must provide a minimum of 50% new content.

Dr. Emil Pricop
Dr. Grigore Stamatescu
Dr. Jaouhar Fattahi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Systems security
  • Systems safety
  • Industrial controls systems resilience
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information security

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Early-Stage Detection of Cyber Attacks
Information 2020, 11(12), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11120560 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Nowadays, systems around the world face many cyber attacks every day. These attacks consist of numerous steps that may occur over an extended period of time. We can learn from them and use this knowledge to create tools to predict and prevent the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, systems around the world face many cyber attacks every day. These attacks consist of numerous steps that may occur over an extended period of time. We can learn from them and use this knowledge to create tools to predict and prevent the attacks. In this paper, we introduce a way to sort cyber attacks in stages, which can help with the detection of each stage of cyber attacks. In this way, we can detect the earlier stages of the attack. We propose a solution using Bayesian network algorithms to predict how the attacks proceed. We can use this information for more effective defense against cyber threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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Article
Evaluation of Attackers’ Skill Levels in Multi-Stage Attacks
Information 2020, 11(11), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11110537 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 657
Abstract
The rapid move to digitalization and usage of online information systems brings new and evolving threats that organizations must protect themselves from and respond to. Monitoring an organization’s network for malicious activity has become a standard practice together with event and log collection [...] Read more.
The rapid move to digitalization and usage of online information systems brings new and evolving threats that organizations must protect themselves from and respond to. Monitoring an organization’s network for malicious activity has become a standard practice together with event and log collection from network hosts. Security operation centers deal with a growing number of alerts raised by intrusion detection systems that process the collected data and monitor networks. The alerts must be processed so that the relevant stakeholders can make informed decisions when responding to situations. Correlation of alerts into more expressive intrusion scenarios is an important tool in reducing false-positive and noisy alerts. In this paper, we propose correlation rules for identifying multi-stage attacks. Another contribution of this paper is a methodology for inferring from an alert the values needed to evaluate the attack in terms of the attacker’s skill level. We present our results on the CSE-CIC-IDS2018 data set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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Article
Smali+: An Operational Semantics for Low-Level Code Generated from Reverse Engineering Android Applications
Information 2020, 11(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030130 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
Today, Android accounts for more than 80% of the global market share. Such a high rate makes Android applications an important topic that raises serious questions about its security, privacy, misbehavior and correctness. Application code analysis is obviously the most appropriate and natural [...] Read more.
Today, Android accounts for more than 80% of the global market share. Such a high rate makes Android applications an important topic that raises serious questions about its security, privacy, misbehavior and correctness. Application code analysis is obviously the most appropriate and natural means to address these issues. However, no analysis could be led with confidence in the absence of a solid formal foundation. In this paper, we propose a full-fledged formal approach to build the operational semantics of a given Android application by reverse-engineering its assembler-type code, called Smali. We call the new formal language Smali + . Its semantics consist of two parts. The first one models a single-threaded program, in which a set of main instructions is presented. The second one presents the semantics of a multi-threaded program which is an important feature in Android that has been glossed over in the-state-of-the-art works. All multi-threading essentials such as scheduling, threads communication and synchronization are considered in these semantics. The resulting semantics, forming Smali + , are intended to provide a formal basis for developing security enforcement, analysis and misbehaving detection techniques for Android applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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Article
A Novel Low Processing Time System for Criminal Activities Detection Applied to Command and Control Citizen Security Centers
Information 2019, 10(12), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10120365 - 24 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
This paper shows a Novel Low Processing Time System focused on criminal activities detection based on real-time video analysis applied to Command and Control Citizen Security Centers. This system was applied to the detection and classification of criminal events in a real-time video [...] Read more.
This paper shows a Novel Low Processing Time System focused on criminal activities detection based on real-time video analysis applied to Command and Control Citizen Security Centers. This system was applied to the detection and classification of criminal events in a real-time video surveillance subsystem in the Command and Control Citizen Security Center of the Colombian National Police. It was developed using a novel application of Deep Learning, specifically a Faster Region-Based Convolutional Network (R-CNN) for the detection of criminal activities treated as “objects” to be detected in real-time video. In order to maximize the system efficiency and reduce the processing time of each video frame, the pretrained CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) model AlexNet was used and the fine training was carried out with a dataset built for this project, formed by objects commonly used in criminal activities such as short firearms and bladed weapons. In addition, the system was trained for street theft detection. The system can generate alarms when detecting street theft, short firearms and bladed weapons, improving situational awareness and facilitating strategic decision making in the Command and Control Citizen Security Center of the Colombian National Police. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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Article
Quantitative Model of Attacks on Distribution Automation Systems Based on CVSS and Attack Trees
Information 2019, 10(8), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10080251 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
This study focuses on the problem of attack quantification in distribution automation systems (DASs) and proposes a quantitative model of attacks based on the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS) and attack trees (ATs) to conduct a quantitative and systematic evaluation of attacks on [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the problem of attack quantification in distribution automation systems (DASs) and proposes a quantitative model of attacks based on the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS) and attack trees (ATs) to conduct a quantitative and systematic evaluation of attacks on a DAS. In the DAS security architecture, AT nodes are traversed and used to represent the attack path. The CVSS is used to quantify the attack sequence, which is the leaf node in an AT. This paper proposes a method to calculate each attack path probability and find the maximum attack path probability in DASs based on attacker behavior. The AT model is suitable for DAS hierarchical features in architecture. The experimental results show that the proposed model can reduce the influence of subjective factors on attack quantification, improve the probability of predicting attacks on the DASs, generate attack paths, better identify attack characteristics, and determine the attack path and quantification probability. The quantitative results of the model’s evaluation can find the most vulnerable component of a DAS and provide an important reference for developing targeted defensive measures in DASs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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Review

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Review
Attacker Behaviour Forecasting Using Methods of Intelligent Data Analysis: A Comparative Review and Prospects
Information 2020, 11(3), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030168 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
Early detection of the security incidents and correct forecasting of the attack development is the basis for the efficient and timely response to cyber threats. The development of the attack depends on future steps available to the attackers, their goals, and their motivation—that [...] Read more.
Early detection of the security incidents and correct forecasting of the attack development is the basis for the efficient and timely response to cyber threats. The development of the attack depends on future steps available to the attackers, their goals, and their motivation—that is, the attacker “profile” that defines the malefactor behaviour in the system. Usually, the “attacker profile” is a set of attacker’s attributes—both inner such as motives and skills, and external such as existing financial support and tools used. The definition of the attacker’s profile allows determining the type of the malefactor and the complexity of the countermeasures, and may significantly simplify the attacker attribution process when investigating security incidents. The goal of the paper is to analyze existing techniques of the attacker’s behaviour, the attacker’ profile specifications, and their application for the forecasting of the attack future steps. The implemented analysis allowed outlining the main advantages and limitations of the approaches to attack forecasting and attacker’s profile constructing, existing challenges, and prospects in the area. The approach for attack forecasting implementation is suggested that specifies further research steps and is the basis for the development of an attacker behaviour forecasting technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Topics in Systems Safety and Security)
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