Interdependent Mission Impact Assessment of an IoT System with Hypergame-Theoretic Attack-Defense Behavior Modeling

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Virginia Tech

Mission impact assessment (MIA) research has been explored to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of a mission system, such as enterprise networks with organizational missions and military or tactical mission teams with assigned missions. The key components in such mission systems, including assets, services, tasks, vulnerability, attacks, and defenses, are interdependent, and their impacts are interwoven. However, the current state-of-the-art MIA approaches have less studied such interdependencies. In addition, they have not modeled strategic attack-defense interactions under partial observability. In this work, we propose a novel MIA framework that assesses measures of performance (MoP) or measures of effectiveness (MoE) based on the service requirements (e.g., correctness or timeliness) of a given mission system based on full and comprehensive modeling and simulation of the key system components and their interdependencies. Particularly, we model intelligent attack-defense strategy selections based on hypergame theory, which allows considering uncertainty in estimating each player's hypergame expected utility (HEU) for its best strategy selection. As the case study, we consider an Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based mission system aiming to accurately and timely detect an object, given stringent accuracy and time constraints for successful mission completion. Via extensive simulation experiments, we validate the quality of the proposed MIA tool in its inference accuracy of the mission performance under a wide range of different environmental settings hindering the mission performance assessment and attack-defense interactions. Our results prove that the developed MIA framework shows a sufficiently high inference accuracy (e.g., 80%) even with a small portion of the training dataset (e.g., 20-50%). We also found the MIA can better assess the system's mission performance when attackers exhibit clearer patterns to take more strategic actions using hypergame theory.

Mission Impact Assessment, mission performance, hypergame, and attack-defense interactions