My research position for the summer has ended. Coincidentally, the timing worked out just right- my paper was accepted at CCSC the last week of my work. I spend the last couple days I had on the clock polishing my writing, and submitted the last details on Friday. Now that the work is done and in its best form, I’d like to talk more about it than I have so far- which is none.
The MICE system came to me one afternoon when I was feeling discouraged after some brief setback on an unrelated project. I was in my college’s computer lab, looking out over the ~30 workstations in the room. Wishfully thinking, I wondered how much money I could make if I could create a makeshift botnet in our lab, to put all these machines to work mining cryptocurrency – $5 an hour? $50? I thought more about the numbers behind my botnet idea, (all for the sake of the thought experiment, I assure any suspicious authorities reading), and figured that it would be nice to know what percentage of the total network I would have to control to generate some target figure of money. Realizing I’d come across something interesting, I spent the rest of the day refining my idea to something more research friendly, and the MICE system was born.
The MICE system uses cryptocurrency-mining like programs (Miner Imitating Counter Executables, if you will) to measure network control by teams in security wargames. Different teams try to keep their own MICE running on as much hardware as possible, while trying to limit the exposed processing power for opposing MICE to latch on to. I won’t re-write my entire paper, but if you’d like to check out the paper in it’s entirety, it’s linked here.
The code for the MICE is available on my Github page. If you’re interested in the idea at all- be it to ask questions, make recommendations for improvements, or to deploy MICE in an exercise you’re administering, let me know and I’d be happy to work with you.