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Surviving in Cyberspace: A Game Theoretic Approach

Charles A. Kamhoua1, Kevin A. Kwiat1 , and Joon S. Park3
1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, NY 13441, USA
2. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA

Abstract—As information systems become ever more complex and the interdependence of these systems increases, a mission-critical system should have the fight-through ability to sustain damage yet survive with mission assurance in cyberspace. To satisfy this requirement, in this paper we propose a game theoretic approach to binary voting with a weighted majority to aggregate observations among replicated nodes. Nodes are of two types: they either vote truthfully or are malicious and thus lie. Voting is
strategically performed based on a node’s belief about the
percentage of compromised nodes in the system. Voting is cast as a stage game model that is a Bayesian Zero-sum game. In the resulting Bayesian Nash equilibrium, if more than a critical proportion of nodes are compromised, their collective decision is only 50% reliable; therefore, no information is obtained from voting. We overcome this by formalizing a repeated game model that guarantees a highly reliable decision process even though nearly all nodes are compromised. A survival analysis is performed to derive the total time of mission survival for both a one-shot game and the repeated game. Mathematical proofs and simulations support our model.

Index Terms— Bayesian game, binary voting, cyberspace, fault-tolerant networks, fight-through, network security, survivability

Cite:Charles A. Kamhoua, Kevin A. Kwiat, and Joon S. Park , "Surviving in Cyberspace: A Game Theoretic Approach," Journal of Communications, vol. 7, no.6, pp.436-450, 2012. Doi: 10.4304/jcm.7.6.436-450