Topics in Survivable Systems

Authors:Knight, John, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Elder, Matthew, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Chapin, AC, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Combs, Brownell, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Geist, Steven, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia McCulloch, Sean, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Nakano, Luis, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Sielken, Robert, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

In the Spring of 1998, a special topics course in Information Survivability was taught at the University of Virginia. The attendees were graduate students in computer science and the instructor for the course was John C. Knight. This report is a compendium of papers written by students who attended the course. The topics covered in this report are not comprehensive by any means; the survivability area is too broad for that. The papers do, however, span quite a wide technical range. The first paper, by Robert S. Sielken, is entitled "The Public Switched Telephone Network". This is a short summary of many aspects of the telephone system and provides some background information about how one of the critical infrastructure systems works. The second paper, by Sean McCulloch, is entitled "An Analysis of Non-Security Failures of the Electric, Phone, and Air Traffic Systems". This is an examination of some of the incidents that have occurred in these infrastructure application domains. The limitation to non-security incidents is important because it helps to point out the many sources of failure to which these systems are subject. The general concern of the community about security is significant, and four of the papers cover security-related topics. The first, by Matthew C. Elder, is entitled "Major Security Attacks on Critical Infrastructure Systems". This paper discusses recent security attacks on critical information systems, and presents extensive information about the severity of the security problem. The second security paper, by Brownell K. Combs, is entitled "Hacking Information Available on the Internet". This paper examines the material available to hackers on the Internet. The author sought out sources of information so as to determine what is available and how easy it is to obtain. The results are surprising. The third security paper, by Steven Geist, is entitled "Firewalls". This paper presents a summary report on firewalls, an important technology designed to help improve the security of existing systems. The fourth paper, by Luis Nakano, is entitled "State of the Art in Computer Virus Prevention". Viruses are growing in number at an extraordinary rate and many new techniques are being developed by their authors to combat existing detection systems. In this paper, the different types of virus are summarized and approaches to their elimination discussed. The final paper in this report is by A. C. Chapin and is entitled "Smart Cards: Security in the New Transaction Cards". The field of critical information systems is changing rapidly and this final paper is about an emerging technology that will have a large impact on all aspects of the field in the future. These papers have been compiled into this report to provide a ready source of information on a variety of topics for the interested reader. In each case, the papers include an extensive bibliography that can be used to obtain more details about the subject of the paper. For more information about the field of survivability, please visit the Web site of the survivability architectures project at the University of Virginia:

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Source Citation:

Knight, John, Matthew Elder, AC Chapin, Brownell Combs, Steven Geist, Sean McCulloch, Luis Nakano, and Robert Sielken. "Topics in Survivable Systems." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (1998).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
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